Would you take a Taser blast for a stranger? Not many people would.
For one police officer, however, the idea of getting shot by a Taser on behalf of someone he never met was second nature. It shows what lives in the hearts of our law enforcement personnel
Six police officers immediately raised their hands to help out.
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Sixteen-year-old Alyssa Elkins, from McConnelsville, Ohio, received heartbreaking news last month: Her leukemia had returned, and this time she was unlikely to win the fight.
Rather than continue with exhausting treatments that offered little hope, Elkins chose to spend her remaining months with family and friends, as The Washington Post reported. By all rights, it would have been natural for the teen to feel angry. But instead of anger, she chose to embrace her situation with faith and wisdom.
“God loves everybody and He’s for us and not against us,” she told The Columbus Dispatch. “He puts us through trials. In the end, I’m not really scared. If He takes me, I know where I’m going.”
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Facing her own mortality, Elkins began to think about what she would like to do before passing on: shop for a wedding dress, visit Disney World, even something as simple as petting a miniature pig, according to The Post.
Shooting a Taser at an unarmed policeman was absolutely not on her list — at least not at first.
But as she was considering that list, she recalled something. Her uncle, Josh Barry, is an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, and during his training, someone had filmed him taking a Taser blast. It looked pretty cool to her — just like in the movies.
“Half-jokingly,” Elkins told the Associated Press, she wondered what it would be like to shoot a Taser — and on the list it went.
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Without telling her, her family then told police in the nearby town of Newark about her wishes. And just like that, Police Chief Barry Connel called his crew together and asked for volunteers. Six officers immediately raised their hands.
Let’s think about that again: Six police officers immediately raised their hands to take a Taser for a stranger.
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Last Sunday, Alyssa Elkins visited the station. Waiting to take the Taser shot was Sgt. Doug Bline, a complete stranger.
After donning the proper police attire and receiving a training session, Elkins focused her Taser on Sgt. Bline standing a few feet away. Two fellow officers stood at his side, holding his arms. They knew what was about to come next.
Meanwhile, the news had already spread through town. By the time she was ready, a crowd of about 50 family members and police officers had gathered to watch the scene, cheering her on with chants of “Taser! Taser! Taser!”
The girl closed her eyes and pulled the trigger. The crackling sound of electricity filled the room and the Taser hit its target. Pain shot through Bline’s body. His friends lowered him to the ground in the wake of the shot.
Next up was Josh Barry — whose niece promptly Tased him.
Elkins had second thoughts about all of it. “I don’t like inflicting pain on people,” she told WBNS. “I didn’t know it was going to be that painful, really.” She added she had no intention of ever repeating this activity again.
The next time you see a cop, think about the quiet hero who made a dying girl’s wish come true.
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Why on earth would Sgt. Bline take a Taser shot for a complete stranger? “Given her situation, it’s a no-brainer,” Bline told The Dispatch. “If I were her parent in this situation, I’d be happy to know that someone was willing to do this for her.”
In a word, Sgt. Bline — it takes a cop. (Or a firefighter, or a soldier — or any of our warrior class.) The Alyssa Elkins story reminds us of how unfair and untrue the picture of angry, violent cops perpetuated by liberal identity-politics groups really is. Our police forces are filled with people like Sgt. Bline who quietly go about their jobs — including being ready to take a Taser or a bullet — to save someone else’s life.
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So the next time you see a cop — think about the quiet hero who made a dying girl’s wish come true. And let him know how you feel.
David Ordan is a master’s degree candidate in clinical counseling at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife and six children.
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