Commentary: Killed in the line of duty

Emilio J. Miyares, national president of Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS), remembers the families and friends of law enforcement officers who were killed for doing their job.

Video Transcript

- Here's a number you may not have heard. By one account, 26 police officers have been shot and killed so far this year and it's only June. Each leaves behind loved ones whose grief never ends. Emilio MES is among them.

- I was seven years old when my dad Hialeah Florida police officer Emilio farmyards was shot and killed on November 6th, 1986. My parents were high school sweethearts. So even at such a young age, seeing the heartbreak of my mother was difficult.

I grew up overnight and became the man of the house with a new mission to take care of my mom and my sister. My dad wanted to help people and lost his life doing it. He was trying to catch a thief who instead of obeying the law stood over him with a gun. My dad put his hands up and said, wait, wait, I have kids. The guy pulled the trigger and changed our lives forever by taking my dad.

The hardest part is knowing those were my dad's last words. Growing up without a father was hard but I don't know any different. I've mentored other surviving children who never even met their parent or were too young to have memories of them.

My sister is one who was too young to have many memories of our dad. Her memories are through the stories our family and dad's friends share about what an incredible person he was. , Every time an officer dies in the line of duty I think about the young surviving kids whose lives are changing in such a tragic way.

I am a father now and my middle daughter is about to turn seven. I can't help but think about the love my dad felt for my sister and me in that moment. I represent over 58,000 law enforcement survivors who have lost a family member or co-worker in the line of duty. That's over 58,000 people whose loved ones should have come home safe after doing their job.

That's what people need to remember. Law enforcement officers are doing their job to serve others and they want to come home safe to their spouse, children, parents, siblings, family and friends. Can you imagine leaving for your job every single day and knowing there's a chance you are telling your loved ones goodbye for the last time? I wish I had a few extra minutes to tell my dad how much I loved him and to give him one last hug.