The fatal shooting of five police officers in Dallas, Texas late Thursday led Tri-City police agencies to voice their support for their fellow colleagues and also urge their own officers to remain vigilant.
“Obviously we’re going to be more diligent about what we’re doing,” said Pasco Police Chief Bob Metzger.
Authorities in Dallas have reported that at least one sniper killed the officers and injured others, along with two civilians, during a peaceful protest march organized in response to the deaths of two black men by police earlier this week in Louisiana and Minnesota.
Kennewick and Pasco police said they were sending their thoughts and prayers to those serving in the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency.
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Pasco’s post added “our hearts are heavy tonight,” while West Richland police said “no words can describe the sadness we all are feeling at this moment.”
We work hard every day to earn the trust of the public.
Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg
A Facebook post by Richland police noted that community members will have a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Saturday at the agency’s offices at 871 George Washington Way to support law enforcement.
The department also thanked those who had contacted their office in support of their officers and those around the country.
“Thank you to all of you (who) have sent cards, flowers, food, and messages our way knowing that this is a difficult day for our profession,” the post said.
A number of police departments around the country, including Seattle, have ordered officers to ride in pairs while on patrol, according to the Associated Press. Seattle’s decision to pair up officers follows a request from the department’s police union, which made a similar request in 2014 following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo, which ignited protests around the country.
Tri-City police chiefs said the events in Dallas have caused concern, but they have no plans to pair up their patrol officers.
Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg noted that his department has done a lot to connect with the community and show residents they are there for them.
“We work hard every day to earn the trust of the public,” he said.