UPDATE: The Dallas shooting called into question security measures for all law enforcement agencies, including here locally.
Following Thursday’s attack on police officers in Dallas many local law enforcement agencies have expressed sadness and solidarity.
In the wake of the tragic news out of Dallas, Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher sent a heartfelt email to his officers. “This morning our hearts break together at the tremendous and unwarranted sacrifice of our fellow officers,” read the email.
He went on to encourage his officers to continue doing the job they love - protecting and serving the community, writing “I also watch that very same Dallas Police family suit up again this morning to continue to protect their community just as I see you all do every day."
It’s the same thing Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond is relaying to his staff. “Put a mirror by the door. When you go out look at yourself, and say I will come home safe,” said Sheriff Hammond.
Sheriff Hammond said they are tough conversations but necessary ones. “You're going to have to be careful, when you pull someone over. The most innocent of traffic stops can lead to a tragedy.”
He acknowledges there is distrust between law enforcement and the black community, but he believes most officers are on the job for the right reasons. “There is going to be officers who do the wrong thing. But we are going to investigate every one of them when that happens. If there needs to be a criminal charges, we will do it.”
Hammond said no amount of training can prepare officers for an incident like what happened in Dallas, but he will continue to focus on keeping his force safe. “As Sheriff of this county, we are going to continue to do the right thing. In training and deployment.”
Chattanooga's top cops are encouraging the men and women behind the badge to rally together. Chief Fletcher said, "This is why police officers across our country are my heroes, why you are my heroes."
He ends his message with famous words from the Law Enforcement Oath of Office.. "Please. Stay strong. Stay safe. Always be your brother's keeper.”
As news of Thursday's sniper attack on Dallas police officers reached law enforcement officers in the Tennessee Valley, reaction was supportive and swift.
Twelve Dallas police officers were shot; five of the officers were fatally wounded. Two civilians were reportedly wounded as well.
Chattanooga Police Department Chief Fred Flecther shared a note to officers expressing his support for the Dallas Police Department: