Thursday, March 10, 2011

Loss Prevention

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

On Tuesday morning, in an area of St. Louis where Albert Pujols will most assuredly not be looking to move to irrespective of the size of his next contract with the Cardinals, Deputy United States Marshal John Perry did something a great deal more than nothing. As part of a team comprised of Deputy Marshals and members of the St. Louis Police Department's Violent Offenders Unit, Deputy Perry arrived at the residence of Carlos Boles to arrest him. Mr. Boles, being despicable beyond his years, had managed to pack a lot of malevolence into his thirty-five years of life. Included among hs previous targets? Law enforcement officers. One of the newspaper articles I read on-line on Tuesday suggested that Mr. Boles had told either his sister or his girlfriend that the only way the police would get him out of his home was in a body bag. His prophecy was fulfilled on Tuesday.

Tragically for Deputy Perry, the job is what the job is and what the job is often is dangerous. When officers arrived at Mr. Boles' residence to arrest him, Boles barricaded himself inside - kept company apparently by the cache of weapons he had in the home. After safely getting two small children out of the residence, officers (including Deputy Perry) began searching the home for Boles. The job is what the job is. On Tuesday morning, the job was to effectuate the arrest of this particular serial miscreant. Apparently while Deputy Perry was moving through the residence looking for Boles, Boles ambushed Perry. Deputy Perry was shot in the head. Although he was rushed to an area hospital and all that could be done for him was most assuredly done, before Tuesday had faded into Wednesday, Deputy U.S. Marshal Perry succumbed to his injuries. He was forty-eight years old.

Deputy Perry is the second Deputy to be killed in the line of duty nationwide since this year began. For those of you keeping score at home, today is only Day 69 of 2011. Deputy Perry is the 252nd member of the United States Marshal's Service to die in the line of duty. While I know - having spoken to my favorite Deputy at length Tuesday night - that Rob never had the pleasure of making Deputy Perry's acquaintance, I also know that it matters not at a time like this. A loss of one is a loss felt by all. I could hear it in my son's voice.

It is also a grim reminder of the fact that irrespective of the route traveled to and from work daily, when one earns one's living in law enforcement, one's drive can include a detour directly into harm's way on any given day.

Preventing the triumph of evil comes at a price. Tuesday morning in St. Louis Deputy Perry paid it. In doing so he might very well have saved you or me from having had to do so.


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