State Police, Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Deputies React to Weekend Police Violence

Four officers shot in three states ..

And police believe some specifically targeted law enforcement.

All of the shootings happened over the weekend.

58 officers have been killed by gunfire on the job in the United States this year.

It was just 39 last year.

In St. Louis and near Kansas City, two gunmen were killed after shooting two officers in separate incidents.

A San Antonio police detective was shot and killed in his cruiser.

They are still looking for that gunman.

And a fourth officer was hurt in a shooting in Florida.

That suspect was arrested.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Derrick Larr sat down with Michigan State Police and has more details on their thoughts on the recent attacks against police.

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“If someone will kill a police officer, they’ll kill anybody,” says Dep. Brian Gilbert, Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Dept. “It’s terrible. It’s terrible."

It’s a reoccurring story that sends ripples nationwide.

Dep. Brian Gilbert has been with the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Department for 27 years.

He says with a badge comes the need to be vigilant.

“Our guys will even go back up their vehicles near a wall or something just to have that protection,” Dep. Gilbert says. “We need to know our surroundings. That’s huge but a reaction will never beat an action, so we run scenarios through our mind all the time. What if? What if this should happen? What are we going to do?"

“Any time there is a loss of human life, it’s a massive tragedy,” says F/Lt. Josh Lator, Post-Commander of the Houghton Lake MSP Post.

The Michigan State Police share the same thought.

“You can’t allow yourself to get into a ‘this is just a mundane’ everyday type of role,” F/Lt. Lator says. “Every stop is different. Every need from a citizen is different. Every time you approach a vehicle, it is different."

F/Lt. Lator says as a peacemaker, danger comes with the job.

“When you take the oath as a state trooper or a deputy, city officer, whatever law enforcement branch you are actually taking the oath for, you know where there may be a time where you put someone else’s life as a higher priority than your own because you are there to protect that person,” F/Lt. Lator says. “You want to keep everyone safe and you want to go home at the end of your shift, as well."

All they ask: help them by watching their backs so they can watch yours.

“If you see something out of place, say something,” F/Lt. Lator says.

“Be our extra eye,” Dep. Gilbert says. “Help us out."