Here in our area, we are blessed with some of the safest communities in the nation. But we still rely on law enforcement officers to protect us from the tiny minority among us who do not obey the laws. They deal with offenders guilty of crimes ranging from exceeding the speed limit to murder - and, in general, they are very effective.
Theirs is a dangerous occupation. Not infrequently, local law enforcement officers are injured in the line of duty. Occasionally they give their lives for us.
President Barack Obama put it well in a speech Saturday, during a Peace Officers Memorial Day observance in Washington. Referring to the safety enjoyed by almost all Americans in our daily lives, Obama added, "That sense of security doesn't come on its own."
We agree entirely. And we join the president in paying tribute to law officers who have given their lives in service.
We hope Americans will pay attention to this sacrifice and do something about it: Last year, the leading cause of death among law enforcement officers was traffic-related incidents. Too often, they died in accidents caused by irresponsible motorists.
We owe our law officers much. At the very least, we owe it to them to help keep them safe on our streets and highways. All it takes is paying attention - for example, when we come upon an officer making a traffic stop. Slow down and, if possible, move over a lane. You may save a law officer's life.