6 officers have died in the last 10 days. The media has barely said a word.

Police Officer by Jack Finnigan is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com
The last few weeks have been difficult all of us in the law enforcement community, as friends, families and co-workers mourn the loss of multiple public servants.  And not surprisingly, the media hasn't had much to say about it.  Today, we take the time to honor these heroes for giving their lives for something greater.  

Deputy Sheldon Gordon Whiteman

44-year-old Deputy Sheldon Gordon Whiteman from the Long County Sheriff's Office passed away this past Thursday morning in Long County, Georgia. He was involved in a high-speed pursuit that caused the deputy to lose control of his cruiser, which resulted in a fatal crash.

The events leading to Deputy Whiteman’s death started in Ludowici at approximately 3:00 a.m. that Thursday. Police noticed an individual was ignoring stop signs all throughout the city, and a local officer attempted to stop the motorist. The driver sped off down Highway 57 towards McIntosh County, which led to Deputy Whiteman becoming involved in the pursuit. 

While the deputy was engaged in the chase, his cruiser flew off of the roadway one mile from Tibet Road, causing him to crash into the woods. Deputy Whiteman was immediately transported over to Liberty Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead after arriving.

Prior to joining the Long County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Whiteman spent four years with Chatham County Sheriff’s Office. Sergeant Julius Johnson, who’s aligned with Chatham County, commented on the impact the deputy brought to the department:

“His smile was the thing that, you know, it represented him. As soon as you see it, ‘hey boy!’ and just the flash of his smile, it’s like, you knew everything was good.”

Deputy Whiteman leaves behind his wife, Alisa, and his three boys, 16-year-old A’ron, 13-year-old Arion, and 11-year-old Shiloh.  

Officer Cesar Ramirez

In Norwalk, Connecticut, 71-year-old Norwalk Police Officer Cesar Ramirez passed away from brain cancer, having been diagnosed less than two months earlier. Officer Ramirez had served the NPD for 32 years prior to his passing.    

On December 13th, 2019, Officer Ramirez went on an extended medical leave status following the diagnosis of glioblastoma that month. When Officer Ramirez opted to go on medical leave, the Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling named December 13th as “Cesar Ramirez Day”, as a means to honor the man’s amazing career.

Sadly, Officer Ramirez passed away roughly a month later. Before Officer Ramirez’s 32-year career with the NPD, he had also worked for the New York Police Department, the Norwalk Housing Authority, and the Second Taxing Commission. Back when Officer Ramirez was first hired by the NPD, Mayor Rilling was at that time the deputy police chief.

“He cared deeply about the community he served. He was a dedicated public servant in every sense of the word. His passing is a huge loss for our city, which I know he loved dearly," said the mayor. "It is a sad day in Norwalk, but I know his legacy will live on through the programs he started and the difference he made in the lives of residents. It was my honor to know him well.”

Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik was also saddened that the department lost such an iconic police officer: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Officer Katherine Thyne

Officer Katherine Thyne was killed in the line of duty after being dragged by a car during a traffic stop. According to reports, the car “accelerated at some point during the encounter,” dragging Officer Thyne alone with it.

The officer originally responded to the area for reports of drug activity.  She approached the vehicle on the driver’s side, another officer on the passenger side.  The driver was asked to get out of the car, and he opened the door. At some point after this, the driver accelerated and drug Officer Thyne with him for a block.  

The car crashed into a tree, pinning the officer between the vehicle and the tree. The second officer was able to get out of the way and avoid injury. Officer Thyne was taken to the hospital but unfortunately died later from her injuries.

The driver of the vehicle led police of a foot chase but was taken into custody shortly after. Officer Thyne was 24 years old and had just graduated from the police academy last summer.  She was the 12th officer, and the first female, to be killed in the line of duty in Newport News’ history, according to the department’s Fallen Officer page.  

Correctional Major Angelanette Moore

According to a confirmed report from the Officer Down Memorial Page, Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail (VPRJ) Correctional Major Angelanette Moore died after performing a prison shakedown on January 23rd.    

VPRJ Superintendent Colonel Roy Witham released a statement to the press on the following day, noting that Major Moore had just completed a shakedown of the prison several hours before, and was meeting with inmates to discuss disciplinary action when she suffered the heart attack.

Her fellow co-workers as well as emergency medical staff immediately jumped in to attempt to save her life using CPR, but prison officials say the attempts were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead on January 23rd.  Col. Witham says the correctional major served the Virginia correctional facility for more than 20 years, and that he would not forget her dedication and hard work ethic. 

“Words cannot properly express what Team VPRJ is feeling today,” Witham said in a statement. “We are all profoundly saddened by the untimely passing of Major Moore.” “She genuinely enjoyed her work, and was committed to training and developing her junior Officers,” Col. Witham added. “Major Moore’s presence was that of a strict but always fair professional.” He called for prayers during this difficult time. 

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Major Moore’s family during this tragic time, and we will continue to provide them with assistance as they grieve her loss,” Col Witham said. The national Fraternal Order of Police expressed their sorrow for Moore's death on social media. 

According to statements from prison officials, Moore leaves behind a son and a husband. They finished by saying she was “100% dedicated to her chosen career in corrections.”  

Investigator John Cole Haynie

Investigator John Cole Haynie died Saturday after dealing with complications related to the flu virus, according to a statement from the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office. He was just 26-years-old. 

According to officials, Haynie fell ill in December, and even though he visited the doctor, he tested negative for the flu. He was reportedly prescribed antibiotics, but after several days, his condition didn't start to improve, but instead took a rapid decline. 

“[He was] pale as a ghost and says ‘I can’t breathe,’” said his wife, Lyn.  Haynie, who battled cancer as a teen, was rushed to the hospital with severe complications affecting his vital organs. Doctors gave him a 40 to 50 percent chance of survival. He went into surgery on Friday, but doctors struggled to keep him oxygenated after the procedure. 

“He is septic again…and on maximum support on the ventilator,” Lyn wrote on Facebook. “The physicians have told us he has hours to days left. Thank you for your prayers and love. Please continue to lift Cole and our family up in your prayers.” Haynie passed away at 6:35 p.m. Saturday, reports said.

"We have lost a brother, a friend, a husband, and a servant of our community," Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett wrote in a statement. "And with that, we mourn...the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office sends our deepest thoughts and prayers."

Officer Munir “Mo” Edais

Officer Munir “Mo” Edais of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department died unexpectedly on January 21, according to the department.  The official cause of death has not yet been released.  The Los Gatos Police Officers' Association released a statement about the loss of their brother.

“It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report your Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Officer Munir Edais died unexpectedly on January 21,” the post read. "’Mo’ as we all knew him was our brother.”    

Officer Edais served in law enforcement for over 10 years.  “He served our community with seemingly endless energy,” the police union wrote in their statement. “His passing leaves a giant hole in our department and in our lives.” Officer Edais is survived by his two young children and his wife, who is expecting their third child. 

“[Officer] Munir's coworkers knew him as a dedicated, passionate, tenacious professional with an endless sense of humor,” a page dedicated to raising funds for the family read. “He was a brother to those with whom he worked and cherished his role as a protector and servant to his community.”

Our hearts go out to all of these heroes and their families during this difficult time. We'll hold the line from here.   
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