Former Cop: Officers Risk Their Lives Everyday to Protect the Public

After a string of incidents involving New England police officers, a former police officer talks about what it's like in the streets

Mario Oliveira was a long-time member of law enforcement, and knows exactly what it’s like on the streets.

"You’re definitely vigilant, hyper-vigilant, make sure stop goes smoothly, and there’s no issues," he said.

Every encounter is different.

"It’s the unknown, who am I going to approach, is it going to be a decent person, is it going to be a crazy person, is it going to be a gang member?" Oliveira said.

Many people are pleasant, but that’s not always the case as was witnessed Sunday in Auburn, Massachusetts.

"And there are people like this guy yesterday, who’s a lunatic - a death wish - you kill a cop, police are coming after you," Oliveira said.

Oliveira knows. He was shot six times in 2010 while trying to arrest a suspect.

"I lived that moment," he said. "I died twice on the operating table, so I know what’s in the officer’s head, thinking their last thoughts, what’s my wife and kids are thinking, who’s going to take care of them."

Oliveira says surprisingly not every police department has procedures and policies in place when an officer dies in the line of duty, and he now runs New England C.O.P.S., an organization that helps police and families get through the incredibly difficult time.

His says his goal is to make things less stressful for police departments and families, and to make sure they get the help they need, both emotionally and financially.

For police departments and families impacted by the loss of a member of law enforcement, please click here.

For members of law enforcement injured in the line of duty, please click here.

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