Just over a week since the brutal assassination of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, America’s law enforcement officers have once again been targeted and killed. Several were wounded. One is still fighting for his life.

A week ago, we asked how we got to this point. That question is still unanswered. I will not re-hash the offered reasons for the environment we now must endure; however, it is far past time for the media to assume some responsibility for advancing the lies upon lies that, through re-telling, are confused with history. They blame political candidates for violence at rallies due to the candidates “inflammatory rhetoric” and then themselves fan the flames of violence through their own.

Today we call for vigilance and understanding. We know that the vast majority of all communities of this great nation respect and support our first responders. We ask them to speak up. Tell the men and women in uniform “thank you” for what they do when you see them. Believe me, it means the world to them to know that they have the support of those they will continue to protect. We also call on police chiefs and sheriffs to field two man units when possible. It is inherently safer for our police officers. We also request that the media and our elected leaders to choose their words carefully so that they might not be misinterpreted as an indictment of our nation’s police officers and provide violent impetus to someone who may not be in control of their facilities.

We will bury our dead. Our men and women will cry privately and try to console and reassure their families. Then tomorrow, like today, and in the days that follow, they will suit up, gear up, and resume their watch over each of us.

In the meantime, I can only offer our thoughts, our prayers and sadly, our condolences.

Sam Cabral, President

International Union of Police Associations