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The dangers cops face take a toll
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The dangers cops face take a toll

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reeling from the death of a fellow cop, it's been a tough and tragic week for Jersey City police officers.

Detective Marc DiNardo died Tuesday from wounds he suffered last Thursday in a shootout with robbery suspects. Five officers were injured in the incident and the two suspects were killed.

This week, teenagers rammed their car into four police cruisers, resulting in minor injuries for seven police officers, and Tuesday night police shot and killed a woman after police said she slashed two officers with a kitchen knife.

This is what they get paid to deal while remaining professionals, says a city spokesman. But they are human, so he adds that when they are injured, when they discharge their weapons, when they kill someone, appropriate actions are taken to help them cope.

When an officer fires his or her gun, or there is a traumatic incident, they are required to take leave and before they return to work they undergo a physical and psychological review, says city spokesman Stan H. Eason.

The two police officers involved in Tuesday's fatal shooting of a woman both took leave after the incident, he said yesterday.

The JCPD works with a counseling organization called Cop to Cop, which provides 24/7 counseling services for police officers and their families, Eason noted.

Despite the several deadly incidents in the past week, he believes officers continue to act in a professional manner.

"It's an emotional time so you can't make up an emotional response," Eason said. "They have to maintain a high level of professionalism."

At a press conference yesterday with ministers rallying in support of Jersey City police, Ward F Councilwoman Viola Richardson, herself a police officer for 21 years, said that at times like this, police can become "antsy."

"How do you tell someone to calm down when you run the risk of being blown away any moment?" she asked.

When a fellow police officer dies, she said, cops become more cautious. "Now you're putting on your (bulletproof) vest," she said.

Eason believes there's no need to give police "special instruction" in light of the week's violence.

Posted on: 2009/7/23 9:46

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