Another police officer has been murdered in Massachusetts. Sean Gannon of the Yarmouth Police Department is dead and his alleged murderer is in custody.

The fact that Tom Latanowich, the alleged murderer of Officer Gannon, is still alive is a testimony to the professionalism of police officers in America. According to the anarchists and radicals, the police are the ones who are violent and out of control. Those of us in the less and less silent majority know it is the police who protect our lives and property, and carry a gun for a reason.

Officer Gannon, a New Bedford native and Bishop Stang graduate, was murdered because he decided to defend the life and liberty of the people in his community. He was killed because he represented law and order in the face of a person who didn't want law and order. The criminal who murdered Officer Gannon was going to murder any police officer he encountered. The criminal who shot this young officer in the head understood what too many take for granted or have forgotten. The police are there to serve and protect the public against the criminals who want to terrorize, rob, rape and otherwise victimize.

We need a death penalty in Massachusetts for the convicted killers of police officers, correction officers, and prosecutors. While those individuals employed in law enforcement are not more important than anyone else, they do serve as a canary in a mine shaft; if a person will kill an officer, they will certainly kill a civilian.

In the past, we have seen legislators file a bill to create a death penalty for killing a police officer in Massachusetts. This time it must be different.

The only way to accomplish this is for every city and town to file a local petition with the legislature in support of the death penalty for cop killers. Every local elected official needs to weigh in on this situation and explain their position.

I fully expect many to disagree with the death penalty, and I welcome their input on the matter. I am concerned with wrongful convictions, and it is a horrible tragedy on the level of what happened to Officer Gannon if an innocent person is executed. The advances in technology have helped to convict and vindicate defendants in Massachusetts, and that should be considered in this debate.

I want every local city councilor, mayor, and selectman to take a stand here on the importance of the lives of the men and woman who they employ to keep their citizens' lives and property safe.

Make a motion, see who seconds the motion, and call for the recorded vote.

Officer Gannon had the courage. Do you?

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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