ST. LOUIS – Gov.-elect Eric Greitens has condemned the separate attacks on two Missouri police officers Sunday and has called for greater protection of law enforcement in the wake of the two shootings.
After visiting one of the victims at a hospital in St. Louis just hours after the attack, Greitens released a statement Monday ensuring that he would work as governor to ensure the protection of those in law enforcement.
“We must stand up for those who stand guard for us,” Greitens wrote. “In the year ahead, my administration will push for the strictest possible punishments for anyone who assaults a police officer.”
In response to these incidents, Greitens said that he would seek to establish a “Blue Alert” system. A Blue Alert system is equivalent to an Amber or Silver Alert, but it is used for police shootings instead of child abductions or missing seniors. Twenty-seven states already have a Blue Alert system.
The governor-elect also asked Missourians to thank police officers for their service and told the law enforcement community, “We have your backs, and we’re going to fight for you.”
Sunday evening, an as-of-yet unnamed police sergeant with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department was shot twice in the face by an assailant while he was sitting in his patrol SUV. The assailant pulled up beside the sergeant in another vehicle and fired through the window.
A suspect was killed in a police shootout after he fired on other police officers roughly five hours after the shooting. The sergeant was reported to be in critical but stable condition.
A Gladstone police officer was also shot Sunday evening around 10:30 p.m. after a routine traffic stop escalated into a gunfight. The officer’s injury was not deemed life-threatening.
Another police officer in San Antonio was ambushed and killed in a separate incident.
This is not the first time Greitens has offered reassuring messages for the police after a tragedy to their ranks. After the Dallas police shooting in July, which coincided with an attack on a Ballwin police officer, Greitens penned an extensive op-ed as a candidate that outlined his commitment to law enforcement.