One gains a visceral understanding of mortal danger the very first time. The patrol car door opens - into the traffic lane - and "boots on the ground" land in lane three. Passing cars, many drivers not only oblivious but annoyed, barely slow to the posted 65, or 75, mph speed limit. They rocket by mere feet away. The only apt analogy is to go to a rifle range, stand on the fifty yard line and have shooters of varying skill levels fire bullets past your head from the hundred.
The men and women of the Colorado State Patrol serve their state in just such an environment every day of the year. Bitter cold, blazing heat, in big cities and open farmland. It can be harsh winter in the mountains and brilliant summer sun in Denver and the same trooper may work both...the same day.
They never flinch. They never falter.
Yesterday, Trooper Cody Donahue was struck by a vehicle on I-25 as he investigated a crash. He had been with CSP for eleven years. He leaves behind two children, countless friends and thousands of brothers and sisters of the blue who mourn his passing.
Law enforcement officers understand that they face peril every time they put on their uniform. Ambushes and snipers garner headlines. But, in truth, death tugs at the elbow of every cop who gets out of the car on an interstate. That Colorado's troopers do it day in, day out because it has to be done...
Fare well, Trooper Donahue. Thank you.