A million dollars not enough for families of cops who die in the line of duty

Dear Editor,

Imagine that you’re a Guyana Police Officer and you were killed in the line of duty. The government gave you a state funeral and thanked your family for your service to the country and a cheque for a mere one million Guyana dollars.

Also imagine that you’re a Guyanese professional boxer and you won the World Championship Title for Guyana. Although you don’t really need a house because you can afford to buy one, the government gives you a free house for winning the title.

Moreover, imagine once again, you’re an American soldier and you went to war in Iraq, and you we’re injured in the line of duty but not killed. The United States Government thanked you and your family for your service and sacrifice with a cheque for one million United States dollars.

Well imagine no more because all three of these stories are true. In Guyana, a few months ago, while on patrol, a police officer was shot to death. The newspaper reported that his wife and two small children were compensated with one million Guyana dollars.

Would you consider a mere one million dollars a reasonable amount for sacrificing your life? I couldn’t believe a police officer who died in the line of duty would be paid a mere 1 million dollars for the ultimate sacrifice. How much should a police officer be compensated who died in the line of duty? Is a mere one million dollars enough?

How can anyone ask a police officer to risk his/her life for a mere one million dollars? How can anyone compensate a young widow with two small children with only one million dollars whose husband died trying to protect the citizens of Guyana?  With one million dollars, she can’t even afford to buy a decent car or a house.

Yet, when a boxer in Guyana wins the World Championship Title, he is compensated with a house. Does this make sense to you?

Now let us look at the wounded American soldier. He was injured in combat, but he survived. For his injuries, he was compensated one million United States dollars. With a million dollars, his family can buy several houses and cars. Do you see why the American soldier is more willing to fight and even die to protect America? Because they know that if something happened to them in the line of duty, the government will take care of them and their family for the rest of their lives.

Now do you see why some police in Guyana aren’t willing to risk their lives in the line of duty? It boils down to this simple fact: the American soldier knows that if he/she is injured or killed in the line of duty, their family will be taken care of. On the other hand, the Guyana Police Officer knows that if he/she is injured or killed in the line of duty, their family will not be taken care of.

Yours faithfully,
Anthony Pantlitz

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