N. TX sheriff writes post following deputy shooting

The fatal shooting of a uniformed suburban Houston sheriff's deputy has hit close to home for law enforcement leaders and officers.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown sent in an internal email to Dallas officers, letting them know that if they want ride with a partner instead of alone in their patrol cars, he'd approve that request.

Over in Tarrant County, the sheriff says he's also thinking about how to guard against future attacks and is also asking those who support police to speak up.

In the business of running a law enforcement operation, it's a bit rare to hear the head of an agency pour his heart out, but in about 960 words, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson did just that with a Facebook post that’s now reached tens of thousands.

“I don’t know the answer and I said that in my letter,” he said. “I’m lost at this point. I don’t know the answer but I do know that violence met by violence is not the answer.”

Sheriff Anderson says he was in shock over Deputy Darren Goforth's murder and writes, “If I sound lost and unsure it’s because I am.”

He encourages his deputies and officers to not be consumed by fear and ask people who support police to join in and say enough.

 

Saturday, the Harris County Sheriff said the murder was a result of anti-police sentiment boiling over all over the country.

But in North Texas, Sheriff Anderson's reaction sounded more sad than outraged.

“This is a time that we've never seen before,” said Anderson. “This is unchartered water, and I don’t know how we get out of it, but we certainly need to work together on a solution.”

Pastor Michael Bowie of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church in east Dallas says the Tarrant County Sheriff's openness marks an important step, showing there's common ground in wanting to be heard and build relationships.

Earlier this month, Pastor Bowie joined other clergy to mark the anniversary of Mike Brown's death in Ferguson by inviting Dallas police officers for a game of basketball, and there are plans to get together again.

“This is a good time for them to say, ‘Hey, we are not your enemy; we are your friends. We are here to protect you to have a safe community,’” said Bowie. “So I think if someone from law enforcement takes the lead and says, ‘Hey, we want to partner, we want to talk to community leaders,’ I think as long as they are silent, sometimes silence endorses some folks’ perceptions.”

Officers from all over the state will be attending Deputy Goforth’s funeral.

“I don’t mind talking about it,” said Anderson. “I don't mind standing up and saying what I feel because people need to hear what's going on and people need to think about what our issues are and it's certainly forced me to look more at the problems to help hopefully make things better.”

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