'Is it really worth it?' Ex-Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison weighs in on shootings of law officers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Former Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison is speaking out after two officer-involved shootings in less than a week.

Right now at two hospitals, there law enforcement officers fighting to make a full recovery.

Raleigh Police Officer Charles Ainsworth was shot multiple times last Wednesday.

Highway Patrol State Trooper Daniel Harrell was shot Monday night in Wilson County.

Harrell hails from a line of law enforcement officials. He is a third-generation state trooper and Harrison used to work with his father.

"It immediately goes to your heart, because they are family," Harrison said.

He said he is concerned by the frequency of these types of shootings.

"Since the first of the year, there has been six or seven shot throughout the country. When is it going to stop?" he said.

Harrison said what law enforcement needs most is respect.

"You just imagine one day in this country without law enforcement. A lot of police officers are beginning to say 'is it really worth it'? We give our lives every day to save somebody or make this a safe county, make this a safe country and sometimes it doesn't really look like people really care?" he said.

Harrison knows all too well what it's like to be injured in the line of duty. Just like in Harrell's case, Harrison was in the Highway Patrol for five years when he was hit by a bullet.

"They (the suspects) were hopped up on drugs and all of a sudden everything went south and they jumped me," Harrison said.

He said he worries that the violence against officers is deterring people from entering into the profession or that officers will shy away from certain situations.

"I'm afraid at some point in time, no more than being getting paid, we're going to have a hard time getting people," he said. "When they say 'arrests are down, traffic stops are down, it's because ... is it really worth it? Is it really worth me stopping that car to see if he might be a break-in suspect or whatever, knowing I'm going to probably get sued if I say the wrong thing or something is going to happen?"
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