It is a simple reminder that being a police officer is not just another occupation. While it’s not the only dangerous occupation out there, few jobs require facing these situations each and every day. From the news accounts this was an unfortunately routine call to a domestic dispute, one that I bet happens dozens of times a day if not more just within the city. That any routine incident can end like this is something the police live with every hour. I can’t help but recall what happened to my very good friend from high school, and former Pittsburgh Police Officer, John Wilbur. His even more routine traffic stop 13 years ago ended only after he was dragged down Fifth Avenue at high speed, hand caught in the door jamb of a fleeing suspect’s car while his foot was all but gnawed off by the pavement. Many know the story. The circumstances today are even more frightful. That any window could have a fully automatic AK47 sticking out of it puts every cop out there in an indefensible position. Without diminishing their own dedication, a squad of infantry typically goes into combat with layers of personal protective equipment, pre-arranged backup and mutual support at the ready. Beat cops spend their days infinitely more vulnerable. Consider that with only three deaths on Saturday, in a total force of 800 the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police had a much higher proportion of its personnel killed in action than the US military suffered last year despite prosecuting two wars against armed and dangerous adversaries.