Lynchburg incident leads to discussion of day-to-day risks in law enforcement

ROANOKE, Va. – The Lynchburg Police Department is investigating after a shots-fired incident in which a police vehicle was believed to be hit by gunfire.

Lynchburg officers could not find a suspect or the shell casing.

Men and women in blue risk their lives each day to keep people safe and protect the community.

10 News went on a ride along with law enforcement to learn about the dangers they face every day.

“You have to have that mental preparedness that at any time anything could happen,” Captain Gayle Combs with the Roanoke Sheriff’s Office said.

Preparedness that comes with training and safety precautions used by law enforcement across the board.

“Look at the physical surroundings so you can take cover, if necessary, you want to have an action plan,” Combs said.

He said having a plan in place is a way to reduce the risks he faces throughout his job.

“There’s a lot of safety concerns. You don’t want to do something that you think is correct and then may be correct but there could be collateral damage, so you have to always have to watch out for everything really,” Combs said.

Being aware of situations to keep the safety of the community is a priority.

“Nothing is routine in police work, and you hear too often that an officer was hurt. the officer was shot going to a routine call or on a routine call. No, it’s not routine, if it was routine, you and I wouldn’t be talking about it,” Dr. Tod Burke, former police officer and retired criminal justice professor at Radford University said.

Combs told us that in a job like this, you have to be prepared for anything, even if it escalates.

“You don’t have a lot of time to second guess yourself, and any decision you make like I said can be picked apart,” Combs said.

Saturday’s incident in Lynchburg is just one reminder that protecting and serving our community is no easy task.

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Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.