Law enforcement doing their job despite a devastating loss | Editorial

Recent days have seen a wave of tragic stories in the news that may feel overwhelming to many of us, but must be especially difficult for law enforcement officers and other first responders.

A third-grade girl clinging to life after accidentally being shot by a gun a classmate had in his backpack. A veteran state park ranger killed in a head-on crash with a driver who may have been impaired by drug use. A young sailor who causes a crash and dies after his vehicle careens into Sinclair Inlet.

And, of course, the senseless, cold-blooded killing of a highly esteemed state trooper, who’s remembered by so many for his unfailing good nature and beaming smile.

Amid all this grim news, the professional manner in which the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol have carried out their duties while grieving the loss of Trooper Tony Radulescu has been especially commendable.

Within hours of when the trooper was found shot alongside the highway where he had pulled over a pickup, a manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies found the truck and tracked the meth-using ex-con who killed Radulescu to a rural South Kitsap hideout. Radulescu’s killer took the coward’s way out, killing himself when he was about to be apprehended.

The cooperative police work that quickly cornered a dangerous criminal may well have saved other lives, because if he had managed to flee he could have killed other innocent people who crossed his desperate path.

The determined work of investigators hasn’t let up, though, and six people have been arrested and charged with aiding the cop killer in his last hours alive, by actively helping him seek to escape.

The loss of Trooper Radulescu is devastating for those who knew and loved him, as well as for those of us who never knew him but depend on the Tony Radulescus of the world to keep us safe.

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