The fatal shooting of an on-duty Pierce County deputy on Sunday was another hard lesson in the realities of modern policing. Daniel McCartney died early Monday.
McCartney, 34, was responding to a home-invasion robbery report near Spanaway and Fredrickson. He lived in Yelm with his wife and three children.
There has been an immediate outpouring of support with at least two memorial funds already been set up to assist his family. One account may be reached through Tacoma/Pierce County CrimeStoppers – at http://www.tpcrimestoppers.com/case.php?id=1241; another is through Yelm Crossfit via www.youcaring.com.
The death was the first for a Washington state law enforcement officer since January 2017, according to the Behind the Badge Foundation. It came against a backdrop of falling police fatalities nationwide in 2017, according to a recent National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund report.
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That group reported in late December that 128 federal, state and local law enforcement officers had died in 2017 as of Dec. 27. Those deaths marked a 10 percent decrease from the 143 who died in 2016.
That marks progress but does not dim the tragedy of this death. One officer killing is always too many — for families and their communities.
McCartney was a Navy veteran. He had worked previously for the Hoquiam police department.
An investigation continues into how the shooting unfolded. The main suspect, Frank William Pawul, 32, was in custody in investigation of first-degree murder. A second suspect, Henry Michael Carden, 35, was found dead at the scene. Warrants for Pawul’s arrest were issued in Mason County in March.
Tuesday marked national Law Enforcement Appreciation Day McCartney’s death gives us more reason to pause and think carefully about the risks our police officers take on our behalf as they respond to crimes.
FOOT FERRIES FROM OLYMPIA TO SEATTLE?
State Sen. Sam Hunt has introduced a bill to study the feasibility of passenger ferry service between Olympia and Seattle. Senate Bill 6054 has not been scheduled for a hearing, but we encourage the Senate Transportation Committee to give it an airing.
The idea is to help commuters bypass Interstate 5 traffic jams. Certainly the recent derailment of an Amtrak train over I-5 brought home how limited and vulnerable our state’s biggest commerce corridor can get.
But the notion of foot ferry service has been around. During the 2017 campaign season Port of Olympia commissioner E.J. Zita suggested it.
Some water-transport enthusiasts revel in stories about the “mosquito fleet” of steamships that linked numerous Puget Sound ports from the 1850s to the early 1930s. These ferried passengers, mail, food and other products, but the advent of car ferries, rail and highways doomed them.
A closer look could determine whether there is a reason for the port and others to keep looking into this idea.