Sunday, March 18, 2007

In The Line of Duty

A Leadership Fond du Lac group wants to place a police and fire fighters memorial in Hamilton Park. It seems like a simple enough request, but there's been some criticism.

Fond du Lac City Councilwoman Lindee Kimball mentioned during a meeting that one resident had contacted her saying they can't see doing the project, that if you are going to do it for the police and fire fighters...why not teachers? After all they put their lives on the line every day too.

You know I can see the point, but you could argue that for just about everyone who works. Farmers, factory workers, highway crews,etc. Even newsguys sometimes put it on the line.

Okay the last is a bit extreme. I'm not Bob Woodruff and I'll never be covering a war on foreign soil, but there have been a few stories I've covered over the years that could have put me in harms way. A couple standoff incidents where I trusted law enforcement officials to know that we were out of the line of fire. In Dodge County I sat outside a farmhouse once while authorities searched it for booby traps and weapons. It belonged to the Oswalds, the father and son who killed a Waukesha police captain after a bank robbery. There was another time I was at the scene of a huge chemical fire, not knowing where safe exactly was.

Even your own office isn't completely safe. While working in Munising, Michigan our radio station used to allow people to come in and make copies on our copy machine for a small charge. One guy the community had nicknamed "Rambo," because of the army camoflague pants he always wore and the headband, would constantly come in to make copies. He was always involved in some kind of civil litigation with the city or county and everyone gave him a wide berth. Calling him strange would have been an understatement. One night "Rambo" was at a bar where he turned to another patron and bragged that he'd just killed his mother. He had butchered her in fact. He's serving a life term in a Michigan prison.

Of course every day life can be scary. Take the Waupun woman who gave up a job she enjoyed at a Fond du Lac insurance company because her husband kept badgering her at work. Ultimately he chased her into a municipal building in Fox Lake and killed her. She gets the same memorial we all will eventually, a small marker with a way too brief summary of our life here on earth.

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