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Letter: Can a price be put on risk to human life?

Reader letters to Newsday for Sunday, April 7, 2019.

Suffolk County Police Department patrol cars are pictured

Suffolk County Police Department patrol cars are pictured outside the department's 3rd Precinct in Bay Shore Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

As a retired Suffolk County police detective, I would like to respond to the April 2 news story “Suffolk gov’t $200G earners way up in 2008,” about the pay of Suffolk County employees.

On March 28, I attended a memorial service for Deputy Ryan Thompson of the Kittitas County sheriff’s office in Washington state. He was shot and killed while on duty on March 19. I attended as a member of the Suffolk chapter of the Brotherhood for the Fallen, a nonprofit organization that supports families of fallen officers. Our chapter sent members to 52 such funerals in 2018, many of them not reported by our local news media.

While in Washington, I heard officers recount violent and potentially violent incidents. A Fort Worth, Texas, officer told about being shot six times by a robbery suspect after a vehicle and foot pursuit. After 20 months, he returned to patrol. He was honored with other law enforcement personnel in Washington, D.C. He said he “felt humbled to be in the same group as those police officers who arrested the Boston Marathon bomber.”

I was in the presence of heroes. Can a price be put on risk to human life?

I agree with Suffolk Police Benevolent Association president Noel DiGerolamo that police pay is “commensurate with the work they do.” Legis. Tom Cilmi called the rise in the number of $200,000 earners “alarming.” What I find alarming is that cops die in the line of duty across this country and many of us don’t even know about it.

Victoria Cautela,

  Oakdale

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