VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – After four police officers were shot across the country, local law enforcement officers are on edge.
“When is this going to stop?” asked Officer Brian Luciano.
It’s the question at the front of his mind as he thinks about the four officers shot over the weekend — four incidents he says could have easily happened in Hampton Roads.
“You can very easily relate it to yourself and your own department. It doesn’t matter whether its Florida, Baltimore, in this instance, San Antonio. It could have very well been Virginia Beach, Norfolk or Chesapeake,” said Officer Luciano.
Officer Luciano is President of the Virginia Beach Police Benevolent Association and is coming up on 20 years with the Virginia Beach Police Department. He says he sees a good amount of support for law enforcement in the area, but it’s not enough to combat the attacks against police.
“What are we going to learn from this? What is the takeaway? It seems to be nothing,” he said.
That’s why he’s asking local leaders to get involved.
“Everyone needs to stop the negative and anti-police rhetoric,” said Officer Luciano. “And I’d call upon everyone, from the civic leaders to the leaders of the departments, to get together and make sure that they work to tamp down this perspective that police are out there and they’re the enemy.”
He says these shootings have also served as warnings for officers around the country as they bring safety to the forefront.
“You can get complacent. Because there are a lot of mundane aspects of the job, so it is a reminder of the environment we’re working in to stay vigilant,” Officer Luciano said.
Officer Luciano says he hopes officials can work together to get information out to the public to fight the negative messages with positive ones.