AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Black bands covered the badges of those in blue across the country Friday, as police officers mourned lives lost in Dallas this week.
"It's very difficult to sleep. You begin to worry about your own department and your own officers and your own community, about ways that possibly the violence could transition and approach or confront us," said Akron Police Department Deputy Chief Kenneth Ball.
Ball said patrol plans immediately changed when news broke of the tragedy in Dallas. For the foreseeable future, no officer will patrol the streets of Akron alone.
"Right now, with this being so fresh in Dallas, it's just a precaution we think is important to take initially," he said.
Ball said it's hard to understand what happened in Dallas because there's no rational reason for the violence.
"It's just hard to deal with knowing those officers were out there to support and protect the rights of protesters and, in doing so, they became vulnerable and were attacked just because of the color of their skin or the type of uniform they had on," he said.
Officers know the risk is real every time they hit the streets, but Ball said he is confident the Akron Police Department has built a strong relationship with the community it protects and serves.
"I hope the work we put in matters and pays off," he said.
No matter the work, Ball said the devastating news in Dallas hangs on the hearts of every officer.
"There was a spirit of heaviness and concern as officers left their homes. They had a different interaction with their spouse than they may have the day before," he said.
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