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Former Dallas Police Sgt.: "We've always had a target on our back."

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 18:48:30-04
A former Dallas Police Sergeant living in southwest Florida is disturbed and distraught over Thursday night's deadly shooting of five police officers. 
 
Now with the new reports of officers being targeted and shot at in three different states today, many are wondering if police officers across the country are under siege?
 
PT Barnum worked with the Dallas Police Department for more than 20 years. Walking us through his home he proudly shows us his retirement plaque. 
 
"This was the best job I ever had in my life," Barnum said. "When I was 5,6,7 years old, I'd watch police shows on television and I knew then, that's what I'd want to do the rest of my life."
 
Barnum says he always knew he would be wearing black and blue one day, but with the recent officer shootings in Dallas, he's hesitant for someone he loves to follow his footsteps.
 
"With the mental attitude of a lot of people now, I'm almost hesitant to trying to talk anyone into law enforcement."
 
A gunman ambushed five officers at a peaceful demonstration in Dallas over the shootings of two African-American men. Barnum tells Four In Your Corner he's still trying to make sense of it.
 
"Just why? It's senseless.I don't understand the mindset of the people doing that," he said. "The officers are out there trying to protect the public and then all of a sudden you hear someone out of nowhere take shots at them? I don't get it."
 
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released statistics showing the number of firearm related officer deaths have nearly doubled in just one year.
 
"We've always had a target on our back, we're very high visibility," Barnum said. "It just seems like now people are just starting to lose respect for any type of authority and that makes us more susceptible to become that target."
 
Barnum showed Four In Your Corner a thin blue line tattoo around his arm, he says is a constant reminder of the line of officers protecting people from criminals. 
 
"Every officer knows when they go to to work that day, there is a chance they won't be coming home. I want people to feel the same feeling I feel, it's a member of my family that was killed and we are brothers and sisters in blue and we're all together working for the same cause."