The men and women who choose law enforcement as a profession deserve our thanks.

They patrol the streets, respond to calls and emergencies, and try to build relationships with residents and provide education about their duties. But while they are protecting and serving residents, officers never know each day what they will encounter.

Such was the case in the early morning of Sept. 30, when Columbus Police Department Sgt. Josh McCrary attempted to stop Bartholomew County resident Quentin Starke, 44, for a traffic infraction at 11th and Washington streets in downtown Columbus. When Starke refused to stop, the incident turned into a pursuit, a shooting incident with an officer, a manhunt in the Garden City area and a tragic ending with Starke being fatally shot by Indiana State Police Trooper Eric Williams after Starke shot at the trooper.

No residents were injured, fortunately. McCrary suffered a non-life threatening injury when a bullet fired by Starke grazed his head. He is fortunate not to have been injured worse. So is Williams, who was uninjured in the fatal gunfire exchange but had a bullet fired by Starke narrowly miss him.

It takes a special type of desire to want to be a law enforcement officer — to not only want to help others but put one’s life on the line each day. That is something of which community residents should be thankful.

Send comments to