Massachusetts is a highly educated state with great employment opportunities, so you will be stunned by the number of police officers who have died on the job.

According to the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, over 340 law enforcement officers have been killed while protecting the people of the Commonwealth.

The city of Fall River is among the hardest hit by deaths within the ranks of its police department. That small city has lost five police officers since it created a department.

Richard Magan was 39 years old when he died by falling off a ledge while attempting to get to a call for assistance on August 11, 2000.

Thomas J. Guinta was 49 years old when he was shot to death. The man physically attacked Officer Guinta, took possession of his service weapon and then murdered him on August 24, 1994. Officer Guinta left behind a wife and three children.

John W. Ruggiero was 27 years old when he was shot to death on July 23, 1973. He was murdered by two men on Boutwell Street at 3:30 a.m. while investigating a suspicious car. Prior to becoming a police officer, he served in the U.S. Navy and left behind a wife and two children.

Louis T. Gormley was 30 years old when he was killed by the accidental discharge of a fellow officer's firearm on August 23, 1898, while struggling with a suspect.

Gideon Manchester was murdered by a burglar who shot him on July 19, 1852. The suspect was convicted and executed on April 28, 1854. Gideon Manchester was 35 years old and left a wife and three children behind.

As we can see from the list of deceased Fall River police officers, three of the five were murdered by criminals. The other two died in random accidents that show just how dangerous the job of being a police officer is, even without an armed suspect involved. The average age of the Fall River officers was 35 when they died on the job.

Officer Michael Chesna was the third police officer to die in the line of duty in the community of Weymouth. He was predeceased by Chief Paul Butler and Officer Michael Davey.

We have lost too many police officers in Massachusetts, and unfortunately, that will continue.

Be thankful there are still men and women willing to put on the badge to keep us safe. Imagine a world without the police.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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