Man shot dead by police – The crime scene where a man was shot dead by police after firing a rifle at his children, ex-partner, and members of the public. Photo: Cody Fox
Man shot dead by police – The crime scene where a man was shot dead by police after firing a rifle at his children, ex-partner, and members of the public. Photo: Cody Fox

OPINION: Heroes deserve our thanks for doing the unthinkable

NO ONE wants to be in the line of fire.

Nobody wakes up hoping to choose whether someone else lives or dies.

Yet police officers start each shift knowing this may be part of the job.

When reports came in about an armed man firing shots in Tiaro on Saturday, the responding officers would not have headed to the scene with excitement.

They know how these things can go.

As Superintendent Craig Hawkins said of the incident, it is fortunate no officers were hurt, or worse.

The same cannot be said for the man who opened fire.

He was killed by police officers doing their job, putting themselves between the public and danger.

While they avoided physical scars, it is hard to imagine anyone walking away from something like this unscathed.

Anyone close to a police officer has heard the horror stories.

The mental toll of finding mangled bodies in cars, being confronted by horrendous forms of abuse and worse is unthinkable.

We should be praising on-the-ground police officers every chance we get.

Yet too often we choose to criticise and bring them down for things often beyond their control.

To the officers who responded to swiftly and decisively to an impossible situation in Tiaro - thank you.

Thank you also to those who work hard to keep our roads safe or simply check in on those in need.

Your work does not go unnoticed.