End of Watch for Ligonier Township Police Lt. Eric Eslary, came suddenly in the pre-dawn hours of May 5.
He was on patrol, driving on Route 30 with his K-9 partner, when a van driving on the wrong side the highway slammed head-on into the police SUV.
Lt. Eslary wasn’t the only police officer to die that day.
Det. Paul Koropal, with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, suffered a fatal heart attack while serving a search warrant in Fayette County.
And in Idaho, Sgt. Greg Moore, of the Coer d’Alene Police Department, was shot and killed after stopping a suspicious person.
Police officers are people with strengths and flaws just like the rest of us.
What sets them apart is their willingness to run toward the gunfire – not away – to risk their lives protecting us, whether we appreciate the sacrifice or not.
When National Law Enforcement Memorial Week begins May 11, 117 police officers around the country who died on the job last year will be honored.
Next year, we will know at least three names on that list: Lt. Eslary, Det. Koropal and Sgt. Moore.