WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- For Washington County Corporal Taylor Reed, the call to put his life on the line each day has a new meaning. It has been almost two years since Reed was shot while on duty responding to the scene of a murder.
Yet after a lengthy recovery, Reed elected to return to patrol.
“You can’t let your life be consumed by fear, just because you got hurt,” Reed said.
Since returning to work, Reed has increased the amount of precaution he practices each shift.
“Probably the biggest thing that has changed is situational awareness,” Reed said.
And if the memories of the night he was shot weren’t enough, Reed admitted the recent ambush murders of innocent officers around the country have raised his concerns even more.
“You see these other officers getting killed. What would happen if everybody decided they weren’t going to come to work? What kind of shape would our country be in?” Reed said.
Reed said the dangers of his service have even taken a toll on his family.
“There are times they want me to quit this job. And, there may come a time where I have to,” Reed said.
Reed is just one of three deputies in Washington County alone who have returned to patrol after being shot. Ti Augustine and John Schuster have both returned to patrol as well.
Reed said that is a testament to the love the deputies have for the community.
“That is the biggest thing that we can’t let happen; let what’s going on in the world change what we are doing here in Washington County,” Reed said.
Sheriff Tim Helder said all of his deputies have been impacted by the deaths across the nation.
“It can happen to any of us any day. But, right now we are on heightened alert for sure,” Helder said.
Although Helder believes the hatred and violence to police are sentiments of a significant minority of the population, he fears the worst.
“To be honest with you, I don’t see it getting better anytime soon,” Helder said.
However, Reed said that won’t stop him from putting on the badge each day.
“It is kind of that motivation of ‘if you fall off a horse, you have to get back on it’,” Reed said.