Law enforcement mourns deputy's death

Law enforcement mourns deputy's death

FREDERICK, Okla._Many local sheriff's deputies returned to work Monday, some for the first time since a Texas deputy was shot while he was pumping gas.

Harris County sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth was killed Friday night at a gas station.

Now, some are looking into how law enforcement officials remain safe, whether they are dealing with a crime scene or not on duty at all.

Tillman County Sheriff Bobby Whittington says they are instructed to keep their head on a swivel 24/7, 365. They are also told to be mindful of people in the area, because their intentions are never known. He used the idiom that those in law enforcement live "in glass houses" meaning people can always see them, they are watching and it's not always a good thing.

Sheriff Whittington says those in law enforcement usually leave for work wondering if they'll make it home that night.

"We know in the back of our mind that there is a possibility we might not see our loved ones again. It's something we have to be prepared for," Sheriff Whittington said.

He can't imagine walking up to a scene like this, knowing one of his deputies had been shot to death.

"I would be heartbroken. If one of my guys got injured, I would be devastated by it," He said.

Sheriff Whittington believes that the quick spread, and often one-sidedness of social media isn't helping the image of local law enforcement, but a portion of the blame also goes to some who wear the badge.

"We have a degradation of our values, morals and beliefs. Our family unit has diminished greatly. We've lost context of what this country is built on. Now we're paying the price," he said.

A sight like this though, a community gathered in remembrance, shows Sheriff Whittington that people have had enough of the violence.

"It shows people, the public we serve, is getting fed up. They are starting to see that we are the thin blue line between anarchy and a peaceful society," he said.

Sheriff Whittington says by law enforcement holding gatherings in the community, it is also building the relationship. He says he wishes he could do more events like that, but the time and money just isn't there.

Sheriff Whittington ended the interview by passing along his condolences from the department to the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the Goforth family.