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Column: Stand by Our Heroes

With the tragic shooting of Officer Peter Laboy and the subsequent outpouring of support from officers, citizens and businesses in Alexandria and the surrounding communities, the daily observances of Officer Laboy's “miraculous” recovery cannot be ignored. It is very welcome news to an otherwise horrendous event. One cannot forget that this recovery will take a long time and he and his family needs will never disappear. The Alexandria Police Association and Virtue restaurant are to be commended for their efforts in bringing attention to Officer Laboy's long term costly recovery needs.

The risks that the police, fire and sheriff's personnel take on a daily basis bringing an unprecedented quality of life to the residents, businesses and visitors to Alexandria should never be forgotten. Organizations such as Heroes, formed by Bud Doggett in 1964, provide for the future of families whose loved ones are the fallen heroes of their department. The event at Virtue Restaurant underscored the need to assist those heroes that are able to continue on, but clearly not in the same manner as before.

Alexandria has been blessed with three outstanding police chiefs in Charlie Samarra, David Baker and now Earl Cook. Their deputy chiefs on down the ranks to patrol officers are exemplary reflections of the Chief. It could not have been easy for Chief Cook to face the media and cameras at MedStar to explain the status of his recently shot officer, but he did it with the professionalism and calmness that marks his outstanding career. Alexandrians should be proud of this group and provide continued support to officers such as Peter Laboy and sadly, others that may not survive.

Hail to our Chiefs.