Law enforcement officers are aware of the day-in, day-out difficulty of their jobs, and of the danger that is their constant companion while on duty. Yet these men and women accept the stress and the risks to safeguard the rest of us.
On Tuesday night, one of West Virginia's finest, State Police Cpl. Marshall Bailey, 42, paid for that dedication with his life.
Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman pulled over a car in Roane County. They had arrested a man for drunken driving when he somehow escaped the handcuffs that had been placed on him and used a hidden pistol that was missed during a search to shoot both officers. Bailey was killed. Workman was in critical condition Wednesday. A Roane County sheriff's deputy, John Westfall, was wounded badly in the hunt for the suspect, who was killed by other deputies.
The prayers of many, many Mountain State residents are with Workman and Westfall, in the hope both recover quickly. Our prayers are with Bailey's family, too, as our grief mingles with gratefulness that he chose to serve and protect us, his fellow West Virginians.