TR policeman reflects on recent cop killings: "It's disheartenin - FOX Carolina 21

TR policeman reflects on recent cop killings: "It's disheartening"

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Officer Ben Tice, while patrolling Travelers Rest, says recent police shootings have him more aware of his surroundings than ever (FOX Carolina) Officer Ben Tice, while patrolling Travelers Rest, says recent police shootings have him more aware of his surroundings than ever (FOX Carolina)

Officer Ben Tice has been a cop since 2009. Today, he protects and serves the community in Travelers Rest. He was always aware of the risk of being a police officer - but now, he said there is added anxiety. 

"When I put the uniform on, my badge, and my vest - there is that added anxiety," said Tice, who was on patrol when he interviewed with FOX Carolina. It's basically strapping a target on your back."

Still, Tice bravely goes to work each day, even though he believes now it is much more dangerous to be a cop. 

"There is an element of danger to this job, and it's becoming more increasing every day," he said. "It's disheartening," he added of the recent cop killings in Baton Rouge and Dallas. 

With flags being lowered almost weekly for fallen officers, Tice said the possibility of not coming home stays in the back of his mind.

"I've had situations where I've been shot at with rifles that my vest would not have stopped if it hit me," he said. "There are days like that where you take a deep breath and you think it over, you chalk it up to 'It's part of the job,'" said Tice.

Travelers Rest Police Chief Lance Crowe said it has been a hard year for law enforcement, pointing to his black mourning band wrapped around his badge in memory of the fallen in Dallas and now Baton Rouge. 

"I had one officer comment that they might just have to make badges with permanent mourning bands on them if this continues," said Chief Crowe of the recent violence. In March, the violence hit close to home with Greenville Police Officer Allen Jacobs was killed in the line of duty while serving a warrant.

"When you see that ambushes have been staged and people are being assaulted when they arrive on calls, it does kind of heighten your awareness," said Crowe. 

He added TR Police are reminding officers to remain extra vigilant of their surroundings. 

But Officer Tice does not let the news scare him out of going to work. He still wants to serve his community and build relationships with those he serves. He said he does that by getting out of the car and talking to people, especially children, about what he does for a living. He also works to get to know them and build trust. 

"It's worth it," he said. "To me, it is."

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