Local, national reaction to Dallas police shooting

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Friday, July 8, 2016
Local reaction to Dallas
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Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison and others react to the carnage in Dallas.

Following Thursday night's sniper-style attack on police officers in downtown Dallas, Texas many - including North Carolina law enforcement agencies and politicians - have expressed sadness and solidarity.

RELATED: 12 Dallas law officers, 2 civilians shot at protest - 5 officers dead, along with 1 suspect

Senator Thom Tillis issued a statement early Friday morning after news broke that five police officers were shot and killed and six other officers were injured.

"What happened in Dallas, Texas, was a horrific, targeted attack against the city's law enforcement community," his statement said in part. "My heart goes to the families of the police officers who were murdered, and I am praying for the recovery of the officers who were shot and are now fighting for their lives."

"I am proud of North Carolina's law enforcement community and grateful for the brave men and women in blue who risk their lives every single day to patrol our streets, protect our communities, and keep our families safe," his statement continued. "One of the great privileges I've had as North Carolina's senator is visiting police stations across the state and personally thanking our officers for the selfless risks and sacrifices they make for all North Carolinians."

"Wearing the blue uniform is one of the toughest and most dangerous jobs in America. They are the heroes of our local communities, and they deserve our respect and admiration. We must support our law enforcement, and I will continue to support efforts like The Thin Blue Line Act to strengthen the penalties for criminals who attempt to cause harm to our brave law enforcement officials and first responders."

Lt. Jeff Gordon with the North Carolina Highway Patrol also released a statement that said "in light of the recent and senseless acts on the Dallas police officers, we have informed our troopers to be cognizant of their environment and use the utmost care and caution while on-duty."

"Law enforcement is a dangers job yet a very fulfilling profession," his statement continued. "Despite the tragic events yesterday, men and women behind the badge will come together, heal and continue to protect those who cannot protect themselves."

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has posted the above message on Facebook: "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the police officers killed yesterday in Dallas."
Lt. Jeff Gordon

Several local police departments commented on the Dallas shooting Friday morning, including the Durham Police Department.

"The Durham Police Department extends thoughts and prayers for the officers in Dallas, their families and all affected by the recent violence across our nation," the statement read. "These are very difficult times in law enforcement. Locally, we will continue to work with our community leaders, city leadership and residents to provide fair and equitable service to everyone."

The Wake County Sheriff's Department also weighed in.

"I don't know any police officer that wants to shoot anybody," said Donnie Harrison, Wake County Sheriff. "We don't look at color. Do we have bad shootings? Absolutely and that's because of lack of training or whatever it may be. And that's something that we work with. If we got a police officer that's bad we don't keep them. I don't keep a deputy if I find out."

Raleigh's Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown also released a statement Friday.

"Our hearts are heavy this morning. I know your thoughts and prayers, like mine and like those of all our brothers and sisters in law enforcement, are concentrated on the deaths in Texas," she said. "Our only solace at the moment is knowing that such horrible acts of violence do not reflect the mindsets of the vast majority of those in Dallas and elsewhere."

"As a department and as individuals, we remain alert to occurrences around the world with an eye to how they might affect what you so gallantly do here every day. Today is no exception," Deck-Brown went on to say. "While our hearts are reaching out to the families there and that community, I know you will also remain focused on our mission here. As we grieve, I know we will steadfastly continue to be faithful to our obligation to serve and our obligation to protect, and I know you will all continue to work to strengthen the bond we share with this community, which I know is standing with you."

The Kinston Police Department said in a statement that "law enforcement is challenging everyday. Today, like every other day, our officers safety will be our top priority. We set out each day to provide the highest level of police service to our citizens."

"We will continue to do that. Police officers are vulnerable every day and we make every effort to give our officers the resources, training and staffing they need to go home safely to their families," the statement went on to say. "We will continue to remain vigilant and support the mission of our department while also keeping in mind the safety of our officers."

The Pinehurst Police Department also released a statement that read in part, "words can't express the sorrow we feel at the great loss of heroes your department suffered last night. The men and women of our department and our families stand in unity with you and we pray for, hurt and grieve with you and your staff and their families." CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STATEMENT (.pdf)

Police departments around our state and the country are also expressing their sadness and solidarity for Dallas on social media.