LETTERS: Honor lives of our fallen officers by following the law

This week, Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Chad LeCroy was killed in the line of duty while making a traffic safety stop in Atlanta. LeCroy was a dedicated and highly skilled traffic enforcement officer who formerly served as a member of GSP’s Nighthawks, one of 24 HEAT Units for Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic funded through the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

This week in Dougherty County, police Lt. Cliff Rouse was laid to rest after being slain in the line of duty while responding to an armed robbery call at a convenience store. The suspect was caught hiding under a nearby mobile home after Rouse was shot twice.

The brutal slayings of these two Georgia officers brings the number of peace officers killed in the line of duty in Georgia this year to 10. The official Officer Down website indicates six Georgia officers have died this year in shootings, two from gunfire during traffic stops and two from vehicle crashes.

Traffic law enforcement officers are dedicated to ensuring that the public follows our highway safety laws so fewer Georgia families must be informed of tragic injuries and deaths involving loved ones in a crash.

Georgia’s traffic enforcement dedication has paid off. Since 2003, the coordinated efforts of law enforcement and partners in engineering, education and emergency medical services have reduced crash deaths here from an average of 1,600 per year to fewer than 1,100 projected in 2010. LeCroy and Rouse are among the thousands of Georgia law enforcement officers who helped make that happen.

While every Georgian will mourn the way LeCroy and Rouse died in the line of duty, we should also celebrate the way they lived their lives in service to all Georgians. The greatest tribute we can pay to these law enforcement families is to promise to do that for which they committed their lives: Follow the traffic safety laws by not drinking and driving, buckle up every occupant, slowing down and not driving distracted. While driving safely is every driver’s responsibility, Georgia law enforcement is dedicated to ensuring we do so by enforcing traffic safety laws.

— Bob Dallas

Director, Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety