The dangers of police work involve more than trying to apprehend suspects or trying to resolve domestic disputes.
Just the day-to-day efforts of helping others put police officers at risk. That point was made again and again during the courageous efforts last week by law enforcement personnel and firefighters at the demolished World Trade Center in New York City. Many gave their lives helping others.
Tragically, the point also was made Tuesday in Salt Lake City when Salt Lake Police Sgt. James E. Faraone, 48, was killed while helping others.
Faraone, a police officer with nearly 25 years experience, was trying to protect an accident victim from oncoming traffic. While traveling from the Salt Lake International Airport to the police station in the afternoon, Faraone saw a vehicle that wasn't moving in the far left lane on I-80 around 3500 West. He stopped behind the immobile car and activated the police lights in his rear window to warn motorists of the blocked lane. He then called in the accident to dispatch.
A pickup estimated to be traveling around 65 mph crashed into the rear of Faraone's unmarked car shortly afterward. The force crumpled the back half of Faraone's car, trapping Faraone against the steering wheel.
It took awhile to extricate Faraone from his vehicle. He was flown by helicopter to University Hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.
Investigators say his actions likely saved the life of Phuoc Ton, West Valley City, driver of the stranded car that was involved in an accident with a truck.
"He literally put himself in harm's way and gave his life for someone else. He's a hero in my mind," Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Doug McCleve said.
Faraone, who is survived by his wife, a 21-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter, is a hero. And he died a hero's death. He was killed in the service of others.
He is the second Salt Lake City police officer to die while on duty in the past 18 months. Last July, officer Michael Dunman was killed while on bike patrol.
Faraone's death is another reminder of the dedication those in law enforcement have in protecting those they serve.