Friday, 28 October 2016 20:48

A Life of Service

By Chad Beatty | Editorials
Over the past few months Saratoga TODAY has been running ‘Blue Lives Matter’ ads throughout the newspaper. Hopefully they caught your eye and made you spend a minute pondering that simple thought. On its surface, the message is straightforward: Police officers are people, and their lives are just as valuable as ours. But if we go beyond the sound bite, there is a much deeper message. It means that every night we can tuck our children in bed knowing that special men and women have our backs It means help is just a phone call away should we need it; it means someone is willing to run towards the evil or into the fire, so our families can live another day. I can only imagine what society would be like without these brave men and women who drive the streets and walk their beats. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes tragedy to highlight their sacrifices, and sadly that is what happened this week. On Wednesday, October 26, at approximately 6:15 a.m., Trooper Tim Pratt was fatally struck by a vehicle on Ballard Road in Wilton. A 30-year veteran of the force, Trooper Pratt lived a life of service - service to his family, service to his community, and service to his country. Prior to donning the uniform of the NYS Police, Trooper Pratt proudly wore the uniform of the United States Air Force from 1979 to 1986. That is a total of 37 years of service to others! I think the most important element in this story, and the one that truly highlights Trooper Pratt’s character, is that he was barely on the clock, not even responding to a call, when the accident happened. He was simply doing what comes naturally to most police officers; he was helping someone in need. Perhaps the only solace we can take from this horrible accident is how the community has come together. While Trooper Pratt’s body was being transported from Albany Medical Center to Kilmer Funeral Home, the exits along the Northway were adorned with American Flags and emergency personnel paying homage their fallen brother. At Saratoga TODAY our hearts are heavy. Our prayers go out to Trooper Pratt, his family, and his brothers and sisters in blue who put on the badge every day. God bless you all. A candlelight vigil will be held Sunday night in South Glens Falls. The vigil is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. at the gazebo near the Beter Byway adjacent to the Hudson River. Any updates, including funeral arrangements, will be posted on the New York State Police Online Newsroom.
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