The Sacrifices of Our Sisters

As I write this, nine female police officers have died in the line of duty in the first seven months of this year. Women are 11% of our current fallen officers. Their average age was 39, their average tour of duty was 14 years. But there is so much more...

Chief George Turner remembered Thomas as "a great spirit."   "She was also a member of our honor guard and she did that with great valor.” He said. “She was always out front, always willing to do what other folks just simply wouldn't. She is a testament to what I would hope all of our officers are."   Gail Thomas was 46 years old.

Master Corporal Sandy Rogers of the Aiken, SC Department of Public Safety
was shot and killed on January 28, 2012 while responding to a call of a suspicious vehicle atEustisPark early that morning.  A 27 year veteran, Sandy arrived on scene and radioed that she was approaching a blue vehicle. Another officer called for her one minute later and did not receive a response.  She was found shot and badly wounded by a suspect also linked to another shooting earlier in the day inGeorgia. Sandy succumbed to her wounds at the hospital; she was 49 years old.

A lifelong resident of Aiken County, Sandy Rogers was memorialized by a friend as a tough little girl with a “hard right hook.”  She was remembered by co-workers as having an incredible work ethic and an upbeat “lets do this” attitude.  She was described as the department’s “mother hen” and an excellent role model for young cops. She was the “rock” that had helped hold the department together, and they pledged at her funeral to keep going.  “We go on” one of her co-workers said. “That’s what she would say. That’s what we do now, too.”

Fifty three year old veteran Deputy Sheriff Barbara Pill of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office inFloridawas on patrol during the morning of March 6, 2012 when she stopped a vehicle wanted in connection with a stolen property call from a local motel. As Deputy Pill made contact with the driver and ordered him out of the vehicle he opened fire on her, striking her multiple times. Responding deputies,Melbournepolice officers, andFloridatroopers chased the vehicle a short distance until it crashed.  A male and a female who had committed the motel burglary were taken into custody.

Deputy Pill had been in law enforcement for 30 years and served with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office for 15 years.  She is survived by her husband, two sons and a grandchild.  Both of her sons also serve in law enforcement.

Friends describe Deputy Pill as having “a passion for helping others.” They say that quality led her to a law enforcement career and also influenced her sons to follow in her footsteps.

Later that same day, Lake County, IN Sheriff’s Department Corrections Officer Britney Meux was struck and killed by a hit and run driver as she and three other officers were jogging along the outer perimeter of the Lake County Jail. Three of her co-workers were injured.  Some of them were part of the department’s tactical team, other were on the special response team.  The sport utility vehicle hit Britney so hard she was killed instantly.  The driver fled the scene but later turned himself in.

Officer Meux was a high school cheerleader who later joined the Marine Corps.  She was about to graduate college with a 4.0 GPA and was so excited to be a young mom. She and her boyfriend doted on their baby girl.  Britney, known for her hair-braiding skills, had just given her daughter her vey first “hairstyle,” complete with red and white ponytails and bows.  She died doing what she loved, one of her friends said at her funeral, “she loved to run.”  Britney Meux was 25 years old. 

Trooper Amanda Anna of the New York State Police was killed on May 25th, 2012 in a single vehicle crash while working overnight patrol.  She had dropped her four year old son off at her grandparents’ house before heading to the state police barracks inHastings to report for duty.  While on patrol she somehow lost control of her departmental Chevrolet Tahoe, left the rain-slickened roadway and crashed.  She was engaged to a fellow trooper.

Anna had been on the job since 2006, and was well known in the community.  She was a celebrated and fierce high school and college basketball player, and was described by son’s father as “very talkative, friendly and good with people.”  One of her teammates called Anna “very competitive and not afraid to show it.” Anna was also remembered for her incredible work ethic and her caring ways.  “Her arms were always open wide to give you a big hug.”

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