Column: Feeling grateful for law enforcement this week

When it registered with me this week that the ringleader, Omar Antonio Sanchez-Burgos, in MAGNET’s nine-person, multi-location raid Monday reportedly has connections to the Sinoloa cartel, I was stunned.

I’m not naïve. I know enough about the Mexican cartels to understand there is an Arizona prong to their drug-trafficking operations. However, it was a loud enough news announcement to make me curse, and I don’t curse unless my computers or electronic devices are giving me the business.

On its face, Monday’s bust didn’t put that big of a dent in the Sinoloa cartel’s billions of dollars in operations, but it did a lot for the residents in Golden Valley and Mohave County.

Put that together with Tuesday’s shootout between Mohave County Sheriff’s Office detectives and someone they wanted to question, which left that person dead but the detectives uninjured, it has been an active week for law enforcement.

As the week moved toward its conclusion and having spent a considerable amount of time on these stories, I realized our law enforcement departments may be somewhat taken for granted.

I do know we, as a community, spend a lot of money on law enforcement. Locally, between Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and Kingman Police Department, we’re shelling out about $36 million a year. In that way, we are showing that we know they’re out there.

On the flip side, what I have noticed is there is a lot of complaining about our officers and deputies. I’ve been hearing how flippant law enforcement can be when reports are made to them, they don’t care and even how they have belittled people.

I’m not here to put law enforcement on a pedestal where I believe they don’t do anything wrong. That is not the case. I know there are members of law enforcement who are rude, just like I know there are rude editors, customer service clerks and doctors.

I also know not many people pick up their lunch pails as they head out the door for work thinking they’ll be apprehending someone in the Sinoloa cartel or they’ll have to get into a gunfight with someone.

It seems to be a hard world right now with the heroin and meth trade revved up. There is a great deal of activity out there from the buying and selling of drugs to overdoses. It makes life a little dangerous in places I don’t have to dip my toe into.

We pay people to do that, and I like what they’ve been doing. MAGNET has been busy this summer, and I appreciate it.

Things are looking up this week because of the hard and difficult work that was accomplished, and which continues to be focused on so the public can be safe.

For that, I am grateful.