Pasco deputies: Dallas was a reality check

- As sheriff's deputies in Pasco County reported to work the day after 12 officers were shot in Dallas, their thoughts were with their fallen brothers.

The deputies reflected on a week marred by violence between law enforcement and the people they protect and serve.

"You wake up and you hear this: a senseless act, obviously calculated, but why?" Cpl. Arthur Madden asked as he started his day Friday.

Heading out for duty, the overnight shooting in Dallas obviously weighed heavily on the minds of Pasco County sheriff's deputies.

"It's a reality check. Sometimes a lot of us come out here, doing this every day, and we get complacent or think 'it'll never happen to me,' or it never hits quite close to home," Cpl. Pero Ojeda said.

Making their way through a crime-riddled neighborhood in New Port Richey, knocking on the doors of known and suspected violent offenders and drug dealers, Pasco Co. deputies said they couldn't help but think about the dangers they face every time they put on the uniform.

"It's very sad to know that I have a son, and I want to go home to him every day, and to think about those officers and how drastically their families are affected ... quite frankly, it sucks," Madden said.

In addition to bullet-resistant vests, Pasco County deputies are protected by another piece of equipment. Each deputy wears a body camera - a uniform requirement that, at first, caused a bit of controversy,

Madden said body cameras like his provide security for both law enforcement and the public.

"How does this camera on my shoulder, on my collar, affect how I do what I do? The answer is, it doesn't,” Madden said. “It, more often times than not, will protect me, and will protect the agency, and as long as I and we operate in a professional manner, then I'm good. Those that are wrong, those that are bad, they'll get caught; just like in… any profession.” 

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