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Mullis, Justin

 Police work always carries risk

Times-Mail Editorial Board
April 30, 2009

Southern Indiana was left with a grim reminder Wednesday of the sacrifice and selflessness that law enforcement officers demonstrate.

Justin Mullis, a patrol detective with the French Lick Police Department, died in a motorcycle accident in Morgan County.

Mullis wasn’t actually on duty at the time of his death. He was working for a private company that provides police escort services for funerals when he lost control of his motorcycle, crashed and died. Although he wasn’t on duty at the time he was killed, he was nevertheless performing the kind of tasks that police officers have the expertise to perform and are called on to deliver. The death brings to mind the fact that law enforcement officers take risks every day when they perform police-related duties. And the citizenry the officers serve and protect are reminded from time to time, on days like Wednesday, just how much an officer is prepared to sacrifice.

While Mullis lost his very life doing the kind of work he was dedicated to doing, his willingness to sacrifice had been evident from the time he accepted the officer’s job in French Lick in January 2007. He began maintaining living space in French Lick while his wife and their children remained in Ellettsville until they could sell their home and until his son could graduate there. French Lick Police Chief Thomas McCracken said today, “Those things are part of the transition process and, unfortunately, an officer must make sacrifices for his family to work in law enforcement.

Orange County’s law enforcement had said goodbye to a fellow comrade less than a year ago when Ed Moffatt, a former chief of police and longtime officer in Orleans, died of natural causes.

It’s appropriate to repeat here the words that Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig shared after Moffatt’s death. He said, “A law enforcement officer’s job is a very difficult job. … Very few law enforcement officers are in the job for the money,” Craig said. “They do it because they appreciate what they’re doing for the public.”

2009 HoosierTimes Inc.


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