The tragic deaths of P.O. Rafael Ramos and P.O. Wenjian Liu shock the conscience. It is tough for someone like me with 22 years in law enforcement to comprehend. It is even tougher for our families to understand and of course for the community we serve to understand. But this is what gets us through: It is the knowledge that our brothers and sisters in blue will never forget us. It is also the knowledge that you the community will embrace and care for the loved ones we leave behind.
Police work is one of the toughest professions out there that comes at great risk. But with great risk comes great reward. The satisfaction that comes from this line of work cannot be calculated monetarily. Most of us in this profession treat it as a vocation, a calling.
P.O. Rafael Ramos and P.O. Wenjian Liu knew the risks of this profession and I know these brothers of mine experienced the reward. In the early morning hours of9/11/2001 I was a sergeant in the Highway Patrol. I was assigned to desk duty and I was attempting to account for the whereabouts of the officers in my command. My eyes were watery and my throat had a lump in it. I was barely functioning when a 35 year member of the service grabbed me and looked me straight in the eyes. He said “Keep it together, we are the police. We will get through this. We have no choice.” That we did.
Today, I tell you as a community. We will get through these dark times. We have no choice. All of us are part of this great New York City community. We are the police. WE ARE YOUR POLICE.
I wish eternal rest upon P.O. Rafael Ramos and P.O. Wenjian Liu. The work we will do from this day on will celebrate their lives forever.
Captain John Travaglia
Commanding Officer, 108 Precinct