(Rochester, N.Y.) - Police said the shooting of Officer Anthony DiPonzio on Saturday is an example of why police officers consider traffic stops one of the most dangerous parts of their jobs.
DiPonzio was on solo patrol. But, police say, he wasn't alone when he was shot. Other officers had responded for the report of drug activity.
Police say DiPonzio was ambushed as he turned to leave and they say that should frighten everyone in the community.
Police Union President Mike Mazzeo said, "This never, never should have happened. What these officers were doing was their job--the one they do everyday. This is something the community has to take a look at and have serious concerns about."
The police department doubled up officers for the few days after the shooting to give police emotional and moral support, but not even that can make traffic stops safer.
"It's the unknown," Lt. Drew Forsythe said. "You don't know who you're stopping, they call it a 'routine' traffic stop, but there is no such thing because you never know what’s on the other side of the door, which makes it the most dangerous part of the job."
Forsythe was shot three times after making such a stop in 1996. He has recovered, but says it angers him that officer DiPonzio was attacked without reason.
The officers who helped DiPonzio are being offered counseling to deal with what happened.