Honoring Police during National Law Enforcement Week

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 Decatur- Officers around the globe know the dangers of being a police officer going in. However, it's their passion and their love for the job that gets them through.

WAND's Brigette Burnett went on a ride-a-long with a Decatur sergeant on Tuesday. Sgt. Steve Hagemeyer told Brigette what is means to him to protect the Decatur community

While driving around Macon County, Sgt. Hagemeyer said, "the center of the city is usually the busiest" and "Wabash Crossing gets a lot of calls for service."

With the turn of his head, Sgt. Hagemeyer continually looked for something unusual.

"No matter who it is that calls we respond. No matter who it is," is was the sergeant said when asked about helping individuals based on the color of their skin.

A call may come across his radio and sound simple, however you don't know how serious the situation is until the officer is on the scene.

"You don't know who you're getting out with. You don't know what they've done in the past. You don't know if they're wanted for murder and they have a gun in the front of their pants," added Sgt. Hagemeyer.

That's why the 17 year veteran relies on his skills and "some of it's instinct. If it doesn't seem right then it probably isn't right," Sgt. Hagemeyer said.

Because in the line of duty, lives are taken away. Like the life of his friend Robin Vogel who was killed in a vehicle crash in 2005.

"The loss of officer Vogel, that was tragic and out of the blue and sudden and that was hard," Sgt. Hagemeyer said.

Leaving us left to remember and reflect on law enforcement heroes during national police week. Along with hundreds of others who are also remembering loved ones lost in the line of duty.

"You expect something like I can get shot, I can get in a car accident, I can get killed [and] I can get hit by a car," Sgt. Hagemeyer said.

So yes, they know the risks, but for dedicated officers the risk is worth it.

"Seventeen years and I still look forward to coming to work everyday," said Sgt. Hagemeyer.

Officer John Shaw was one of 273 officers honored at the National Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony in Washington, DC. Shaw was a Virden police officer who passed away in 1912. 
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