Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This is How Rio Rancho Does it, America-Take Notice!

KOAT news about to go 'live'

Less than 28 hours ago, the city of Rio Rancho lost an officer after being shot during a routine traffic stop. Yet, there was nothing routine about it.

Rio Rancho is a small community-less than 95,000 residents-with about 130 police officers to serve and protect it. Since we've lived here (21 years), one of the things we've always been proud of and considered to be Rio Rancho's best asset is our Department of Public Safety-our Police and Fire. We do have the best. But, now, we have one less and all of us in the community are thoroughly shaken by this loss. This is the first time since the city's inception 34 years ago that one of our officers was fatally shot.

Within 24 hours a candlelight vigil was organized-a lot to get together in so short a time, but oh-so-needed (thank you to those that worked behind the scenes to make this happen). And some were surprised (I wasn't) at the turnout for this show of support for the family of Officer Gregg Benner and support for our men and women in blue. Such a contrast to how other citizens in other cities regard their police force. As a community, we value and respect our law enforcement-this is not an easy job nor is it for the weak. The outpouring of love and support tonight was something to behold, America. Take notice. We were there as a community to grieve, hold each other up, convey condolences and to let those know who put their lives on the line every day how much we need and appreciate them.

I am so proud of our city. I am grateful for our officers of the law. I am grateful for all the other agencies that pulled out all the stops to catch the suspect-it was amazing at how the two counties and cities (Bernalillo and Sandoval County, the sheriffs, the city of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho and the FBI) all worked together furiously and non-stop to track down the suspect. 

Even all the news stations did a remarkable job of covering this story and of conveying how it rocked our community and also telling the story of how special a person Officer Benner was.

What really brought it into an even sharper focus for me was on the way home from the candlelight vigil (we only live less than a 1/4 mile from the scene) at the site that Officer Benner was taken down, has become a live shrine. People stopping to place flowers, votive candles, American flags, etc.  Many stayed long enough in silence-sending prayers out to our fallen officer.

You see, this is how Rio Rancho does it America-take notice!


Sylvia K said...

A sad, but wonderful recognition for an officer who has given his life for the safety of others. Wonderful captures! Thank you for sharing!!

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Thanks, Sylvia!

Roberta Birch said...

There are so many reasons this is sad. The predator never should have been out on the streets to begin with. Our liberal justice system kept letting him out early. He spent only 2 years in prison on a prior murder charge. His rap sheet is very long.

The predator wasn't even the one driving the car that was pulled over. Odds were good that had he just sat there in the passenger seat with his mouth shut, officer Benner wouldn't have known that he was a felon with an arrest warrant out for his arrest. It was a flipping traffic stop!

It's a shame this predator wasn't shot instead of being brought in.

Mom2SeaBass said...

To say "America take notice," says that you're oblivious to what's happening with Americans and the people who police them. It's fantastic that there's an outpouring of support for this man's family. He seems like he was a genuinely descent human being. However, the people of Rio Rancho have never been abused by this officer and his ilk. Rio Rancho is not the rest of the country. To claim some sort of superiority over people who have been brutalized because they don't mourn the people who have brutalized them the way you in Rio Rancho are mourning is ridiculous.

Loretta Gomez said...

Yes, this output of support was amazing. Albuquerque does this for their fallen Officers also. As well as many Albuquerque residents who were in attendance of Officer Benner's memorial. We need to remember to be UNITED and suppot each other always in these times of need.

Mitchie said...

For the record Myself and other family members attended the Candlelight vigil for Officer Benner to show our support and respect for all Officers of the police force and we are all from Albuquerque. I'm sure there were residents from all over NM Who attended to show their support. God bless all the Men & Women who choose to Protect and Serve their communities 💙

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Mitchie said...

I meant home towns!

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Yes, the support from everywhere has been amazing. What I really find to be even more amazing is how the memorial site (adjacent to where he was shot) keeps growing. I stop by everyday at different time and there is always people there of all ages. The best part is that parents are taking their children and TEACHING them to respect those that serve and protect us. That, I think is what seems to have eroded over the last few decades.
I will be posting a followup to all of this in the next few days. Still letting the thoughts gestate as I do want to address what Mom2Seabass wrote (and the intention was not to have an air of superiority, but it was indeed of pride).



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