HARTFORD -- Police officers in Connecticut say they too are feeling the pain of the latest attack on police in Baton Rouge Louisiana Sunday morning.
Police in Hartford said Monday morning they need the community’s support at this difficult time. Deputy Chief Brian Foley spoke firmly asking that people speak up if they hear negative comments made about police. He’s also urging people to report anything said that threatens police.
Deputy Chief Foley said with this second attack on law enforcement in just over a week, they are trying not to let fear get in the way of keeping the city’s citizens safe, but that it is an ongoing process.
“Last week was an isolated incident, now it’s a problem. When this happened I wanted to tell everyone ‘hey our officers aren’t scared, officers are just fine,’ I couldn’t say that. Not without finding out how they are feeling. That’s what we’re doing now, and that’s ongoing. These are awful times to be a cop. Awful times to be a cop in an urban environment. But we’re not going to stop doing what we do in the city of Hartford,” Deputy Chief Foley said.
He also said they will be doubling up detectives for their patrols starting Monday.
He also said a lot of the community outreach by officers in which people are seeing now through pictures and videos on social media, are things they do all the time, but are extra important in times like these.
The officers killed in Baton Rouge Sunday morning have been identified as 41 year old Matthew Gerald, who leaves behind a wife and two daughters, 45 year old Brad Garafola, who had been with the Sheriff’s office for 24 years and leaves behind four children, and 32 year old Montrell Jackson, who had a wife and 4 month old son.
Just last week, Jackson put a long post on Facebook about how emotionally exhausting the recent tensions between the Baton Rouge community and police has been. He talked about his love for the city and his fears as a police officer saying, “In uniform I get nasty, hateful looks.”
He also expressed his hope that things will get better.
The gunman in this latest attack has been identified as a former Marine who used an AR-15 assault style riffle to gun down the officers.