Miosotis Familia was doing nothing more than what most of us do day in and day out — making a living to support her family.
But then again, Miosotis didn’t have just any job. She swore to protect and serve each and every one of us as a proud member of the New York Police Department.
Television shows and movies glamorize the lives of cops, as if each hour is an exciting car chase leading to the apprehension of the bad guys. In reality, however, being a police officer not only is difficult and most times uneventful, but it’s also extremely dangerous.
When she was so tragically shot, Miosotis was simply sitting in a mobile police unit in a part of the Bronx that had experienced some violence in recent weeks. Having officers there at that time gave the neighborhood some much-needed peace of mind.
It’s no secret that our police departments overall have received a lot of negative attention. The issues of police-involved shootings are ones we can’t dismiss, and we need to seek out causes and solutions.
At the same time, however, we can’t forget that thousands of officers — just like Miosotis — put their lives on the line each day, so that we can go to sleep each night knowing we are safe.
With Sunday’s shooting of New York State Trooper Joel Davis upstate, the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty this year is 68, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Eight of those officers were in New York, the highest of any state.
Over the past 10 years, more than 1,500 officers have been killed in the line of duty, according to the memorial fund. That’s one death every three days.
But that’s not even the most surprising statistic. In one year alone, more than 51,500 officers were assaulted. That’s one in every 175 officers. Each year.
More must be done to protect our officers, especially in the city. There’s not much of a crime problem in Kingsbridge, where Miosotis lives. But crime is rampant in other parts of the Bronx, and certainly in other parts of the city. When we deploy our officers to serve and protect us, we need to be ready to return the favor — especially when it comes to protection.
That’s the worst part about the death of Miosotis Familia. It could have been prevented.
Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged $10 million toward retrofitting law enforcement vehicles with bullet-resistant glass. A handful of vehicles have since been upgraded, but according to news reports, command vehicles like the one Miosotis was sitting in wasn’t to be included.
Since the shooting, however, the NYPD has changed its mind, and will now include these mobile units. And it’s the right thing to do — the safety of our officers should always be paramount, whether they’re in a patrol car or in any vehicle representing the police department.
We also can’t talk about a week of tragedy without also mentioning the heartbreaking loss of two toddlers in Amalgamated Houses who died over the weekend.
These were two young innocent lives that ended far too soon.
While we might be tempted to speculate and even gossip about what could have happened to Olivia Gee and Micha Gee. But we also have to remember that there are families, friends and neighors who are mourning their passing.
Details about what happened will come in due time. For now, however, let’s not forget about those hurt the most by this week of tragedy.