Local News

Growing anti-cop culture a concern for Raleigh officers

Posted November 2, 2016

— The shootings of two police officers in Des Moines early Wednesday have law enforcement officers around the Triangle on high alert. While officers have tools to keep them safe, no officer is immune to an ambush attack.

"It was just horrific, it's a terrible accident," said Rick Armstrong, vice president of Teamsters Local 391, an organization that represents about 700 Raleigh-area officers. "These officers had no way to defend themselves. They were ambushed. They had no option and were killed.”

The shootings follow a spate of police killings, including ambushes on officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Five officers were killed in Dallas on July 7 and three were killed later that month in Baton Rouge.

In 2016, 115 officers have been killed in the line of duty, 52 by guns. The numbers show a 15 percent increase in officer fatalities over the same time period last year, and a 58 percent increase in the use of guns.

Raleigh officers say they are concerned about a growing anti-cop culture.

"There are a lot of activists that are anti-police and second guessing everything police officers are doing," Armstrong said.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison sent out an email to his officers urging them to be safe and remain vigilant.

"We know we are targets all the time," Harrison said.

But during the tense moments, Harrison said he has also seen a lot of support for officers.

"In the last 6 or 7 months I've had more people come up to me and say thank you for what you do and thank your deputies for what they do," he said.

In the long run, both Harrison and Armstrong think these violent incidents will steer people away from becoming law enforcement officers.

"You're taking a risk every time you go out," Harrison said.

"(Police officers) are not being paid enough, they are not being compensated, but the expectations are getting higher and higher. The threat against them is increasing also," Armstrong said.

The Teamsters Union, which includes the Raleigh Police Protective Association, will hold a regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday night, but the issue of officer safety is on the agenda.


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  • Samuel Tyler Nov 3, 2016
    user avatar

    You can thank Obama, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder, NAACP and FLOTUS for the murders of our LEO's. With their constant racist rhetoric against white's and law enforcement it riles and inflames the savages. Not once has any of them condemned the BLM movement which was built off false premises "hands up don't shoot". Instead of apologizing he shames and ridicules officers.

  • Barney Gravel Nov 3, 2016
    user avatar

    BTW Kenneth your worn out cliché, of people who criticize people will shut up when they need them, is just that "worn out." Do understand calling the police really accomplishes nothing, as police react to crime they do not prevent crime. It is just to make the masses "feel" safe, and provide a source for the public to vent to, when they have been wronged. What Mrs. Bill Clinton does not understand is she has to project that image of the police as protectors. By affirming Black lives matter at the DNC convention, and listing it as one of her proud moments in moving forward, she has just enabled a group of people to discount the police's affectivity. This makes society more unsafe when the illusion is marginalized, shown disrespect and discounted. Mrs. Suzy White Soccer Mommy who is voting for Mrs. Bill Clinton should re-think her choice. Locker room talk about women is far different than enabling people to act violently.

  • Barney Gravel Nov 3, 2016
    user avatar

    Thanks, Mrs. Bill Clinton!

  • Larry Price Nov 3, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    That does seem like a strange way to put it. How can an ambush be an accident?

  • Kenneth Jones Nov 3, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    And you complain about them getting a raise? Law enforcement will never make the kind of money they are worth, just like the military. But people are so quick to condemn them then expect immediate action when they need a cop.......

  • Kenneth Jones Nov 3, 2016
    user avatar

    Wonder if the media feels any responsibility for the "anti-cop" culture?

  • Robin Koury Jr Nov 2, 2016
    user avatar

    Rick Armstrong, vice president of Teamsters Local 391 Said it was a horrific,it's terrible Accident..This Was NO ACCIDENT.It WAS Just Plain MURDER..I Hope this was a Misquote..If Not then Teamsters Local 391 Needs to Get a NEW Vice President..

  • Joseph Wilkins Nov 2, 2016
    user avatar

    Im sure the City of Raleigh's elite top personnel can figure out what to do. They have manage to figure out how to give themselves pay increases while everyone else in the city has to wait for a pay study. RPD has great people and great training. To bad they are leaving to go to other departments by the dozens, leaving less cops to keep the city safe.