YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As Youngstown State University police academy students practiced investigation techniques on Wednesday, the latest attack on law enforcement is also on their minds.
Overnight in Iowa, two officers were ambushed and murdered while on duty. The killings happened less than half an hour apart and by noon Wednesday, police had captured their suspect.
“A little bit of every American is taken away, you know?” said Nate Fabian, a police academy cadet. “I think, for me personally, that all it really does is strengthen my resolve.”
Local cadets say every officer shooting makes them stop and think.
“You have to realize that you are there to protect and serve. It’s what we’re training for and a lot of us realize that we have to be the good that everybody wants to see in police work,” Shannon Chafee said. “That’s what all of us are trying to work toward, and we want to reduce all the violence and everything, and go home at night at the end of the day.”
“Before we even decided to go into this career path, we committed ourselves, and in our minds, that if we have to give our lives in the line of duty to defend others, that that’s a commitment we’re all willing to make,” Fabian said.
Instead, they think about how they can help make a difference.
“I think just the simple things of community policing, and just going out there and talking to some people could really make a big change,” Raymond Goclano said.
In the meantime, local police say the increase in violence against law enforcement around the country does not appear to be impacting recruiting efforts. In Youngstown alone, the chief says a number of officers will be hired between now and the end of the year based on the department’s last civil service test.
“We had 251 people apply and actually, 214 showed up for the test, so we’re pretty comfortable. These are good numbers for us, as far as for those that still want to do the job,” Chief Robin Lees said.
That’s something this crop of students insists they still want to do as well.