Dangers to police too real

Trooper Landon E. Weaver had been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police for only about six months when he was gunned down Friday as he responded to an alleged protection-from-abuse-order violation.

The death of the 23-year-old East Freedom native is the latest grim reminder that whenever police officers of any jurisdiction begin a work shift, they never can be certain regarding what their fate might be when they’re scheduled to go off duty.

Bravery and the willingness to put one’s life on the line are among every police officer’s most important qualities. Weaver couldn’t have graduated from the State Police Academy last June without possessing those strong characteristics.

Weaver was carrying out his responsibilities when he arrived at the scene of Friday’s call, not knowing that the person with whom he would be dealing — 32-year-old Jason Michael Robison of Hesston — harbored a deep resentment and hatred toward all police and felt joy when he learned that an officer had become a victim while on duty.

Worse, he had no reservations about himself inflicting harm or death on those whose primary ambition is to protect and serve others.

After ending Weaver’s life, Robison lacked remorse, instead displaying morbid determination to harm other officers attempting to apprehend him.

After a 15-hour search, Robison left officers with no choice but to fire on him, ending the confrontation and his life.

Robison was killed Saturday at the site of an uninhabited mobile home not far from where he lived. Had he chosen to do so, he could have defused the situation without losing his life.

Many people aren’t feeling sorry that he didn’t choose that option because of how he displayed no apparent regard toward Weaver, whose determination to serve and protect others during a long state police career never will be realized.

Everytime there’s a report about an officer killed in the line of duty — and Weaver’s death will be no exception — that report causes some young people to rethink a law enforcement career, and that’s unfortunate and troubling.

“Landon will always be remembered for his bravery, his sacrifice, and his willingness to serve,” said Gov. Tom Wolf.

Weaver will be honored today during visitation at the Blair County Convention Center, where the funeral service will take place Thursday. We hope the large outpouring of support from emergency responders and the community at large will bring comfort to Weaver’s loved ones of a life tragically taken far too soon.