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N.C. Fraternal Order of Police president frustrated with fatal shootings of police in the state

Updated: Dec. 21, 2020 at 7:09 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The President of the North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police (NCFOP) Sgt. Randy Hagler is expressing frustration over the recent deaths of local police officers.

Hagler says last year there was one North Carolina police officer who died by gunfire. He says so far in 2020 - there have been three North Carolina police officers who died by gunfire. Hagler is thinking about the officers’ family.

“I really think that the folks we tend to forget are the families left at home,” Sgt. Hagler said. “Those are the folks whose lives have been turned upside down and are never going to be the same.”

Hagler says when he thinks about the recent fatal shooting of 25-year-old Concord Police Officer Jason Shuping, he turns his focus to the judicial system. The suspect who fired his weapon at Shuping was convicted of armed robbery in 2010. He was released from prison a few years later.

“The last time I checked armed robbery upon a conviction,” Hagler said. “Carried a maximum of a 40-year sentence, and he only done two years for a crime that could have carried up to 40. Wow - you got to stop and ask yourself if these people that are sentenced to crimes would do at least a serious portion of what they’re supposed to do - a lot of these crimes wouldn’t happen. And I don’t mean just our officers getting killed. Charlotte’s homicide rate is higher than it’s been in a long time, and you’ve got to know that there are a fair number of these suspects who are career criminals.”

Hagler then turns his attention to elected leaders.

He says other officers are noticing how politicians have been reacting to the deaths of local police officers. Two fatal shootings have happened within a week’s time.

“The thing that I’m hearing is,” Hagler said. “Where’s all the outrage from our politicians about these officers getting killed in the line of duty, and we haven’t seen hardly anything from anybody. That’s a shame. They need to be very vocal now and say, enough is enough.”

Hagler says these shooting deaths come at a time when there is a critical shortage of police officers. Despite the shootings, Hagler believes officers are still determined to do their jobs.

“What I see is it makes them, even more, resolved to do their job. It makes them, it makes them more resolve to be safer. It makes their then board is that they desire more training to be prepared for it. But this might persuade a few people that this might not be the career for them - and if that’s the case, then, that’s fine. I understand that completely, law enforcement is not for everybody,” Hagler said.

Hagler is concerned about how people respond to officers. He says if attitudes toward officers are to change - he believes it should start in the home.

“All this starts at home,” Hagler said. “You know we’ve got to teach our younger kids that the police are their friends and they’re here to help them. And as long as you do what you’re told to do, you’re not going to have a problem with the police.”

The local FOP is raising money for Shuping’s family and the other officer injured in the shooting. NC FOP will give a memorial to Shuping in May with the other NC officers killed in the line of duty.

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