As new Yorkers come to terms with the loss and pain of 2 NYPD officers shot in Brooklyn by a disturbed man who subsequently shot himself, people are stepping up to honor these officers. And the Yankees specifically are aiming to help the children of one of the officers, Rafael Ramos who has 2 sons.
The Silver Shield Foundation was set up by the Yankee’s George Steinbrenner to pay for the education of New York’s first responders killed in the line of duty as he rightly identified the heavy impact of the loss of a father or mother on the children left behind. The second officer killed Wenjian Liu had only recently married so he has no children otherwise they too would have been helped.
The death of these 2 officers is a reminder of the price officers in the NYPD and the FDNY pay for being New York’s protectors. They are on the front line doing what has to be done at the time of huge events like 9/11 or like in this instance sitting quietly in their patrol car keeping an eye on things.
That they were killed by a member of the public who was clearly mentally ill as demonstrated by his previous behavior and his online posts shows that as a city we still have a way to go in quickly and effectively identifying such people and putting in the help necessary to prevent them doing harm.
The NYPD has already announced they will be monitoring online threats more closely and will be putting bullet proof glass in squad cars, but obviously more than this needed. It also has to be acknowledged that it is notoriously difficult to identify the very, very small percentage of mentally ill people who will harm others or themselves. Let us make sure that the people able to do these difficult assessments get the support they need to do the best they can in the future.