Loved ones concerned about safety in the line of duty as cop killings increase

Hampden County

Two police officers in Massachusetts have been shot and killed in the line of duty so far in 2018. 

After the death of Sergeant Michael Chesna, family members told 22News it serves as a chilling reminder of the risks their loved ones face every single day. 

“I never worried in the beginning,” Heather Douglas, the wife of a 17-year veteran of the West Springfield Police Department told 22News. “I never thought about it. But I do now, every day.”

Douglas said recent violence against police has put new pressure on families, having to worry with every shift, if it could be the last time they’ll see their loved one. 

“We kiss our husband’s goodbye, and you honestly don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Douglas told 22News. “You don’t want to think about it, you don’t want to discuss it but it’s a reality nowadays. It’s our reality. I know being a wife, I’ve had to sit down with my husband and discuss – what do you want for a funeral? Is the life insurance all set?”

In Springfield, the city has lost several officers in the line of duty. 

“This was an execution,” Mayor Domenic Sarno said of Sergeant Chesna’s death. 

Mayor Sarno has been outspoken, demanding high bail for repeat violent offenders. Governor Charlie Baker has considered reinstating the death penalty for cop killers.

“This was cold-blooded, this was senseless,” Mayor Sarno said. “I know Gov. Baker has brought it up about the death penalty, and I agree with him on this case, the specific cases where police officers have been savagely murdered, there must be, there has to be some decorum” 

“This is where we are now today in society, and it’s a sad thing for us to have to live through,” Douglas said. 

Many local police officers will head to Hanover Friday morning for Sergeant Chesna’s funeral, and the governor has ordered all flags to remain at half-staff until sunset.

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