Police shooting weighs heavily on minds of local officers

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MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Two police officers were shot near Pittsburgh early this morning, leaving one dead and the other injured and in a hospital. Police say the officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call when the suspect ambushed them and started shooting.

Police officers in our area say it’s a sad reality they have to be ready for.

When Officer Joe Bailey goes out on a call, he knows the risk.

“It’s a bit upsetting to hear that it’s still going on,” he said.

Bailey was briefed on the ambush three hours west, near Pittsburgh.

“So now, unfortunately, it casts that shadow where someone is coming up to your vehicle to say thank you, and you know, are they coming up to say thank you, or is there some other reason why they’re coming up to your vehicle?” he said.

With so many stories of the latter, Silver Spring Township Police Department has been gearing up. As of this year, all officers are armed with ballistic vests and assault rifles. Their cars now have shielded doors, and there is a fence around the station.

“Things like that give them confidence that they have some experience with it,” Chief Chris Raubenstine said. “It’s not the first time they’ve thought of it.”

Raubenstine says his officers are also enrolled in added training to handle armed threats.

“You can’t say that’ll never happen here because unfortunately, it’s happening all around,” he said.

Bailey says he chooses to focus on what he can control.

“It’s always a saddening thing that these situations happen and it’s always something you want to take into consideration,” he said, “but you always want to make sure you’re keeping a clear head and clear mind.”

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