Angela Krapf saw close up and personal how dangerous her husband's job can be. Not that she wasn't aware of the dangers in the past. It's just that the risks of the profession were recently brought home to her in a cruel way.

Her worst fears are what every spouse deals with when they send their husbands or wives off to work as police officers.

On March 2, Sgt. Keith Krapf, of the Coaldale Police Department, pulled over a driver who was operating his vehicle erratically. The driver, allegedly drunk, almost hit Krapf's police unit head on. Krapf and another officer had to subdue the driver who became combative as he was taken into custody. Sgt. Krapf took the brunt of the motorist's hostility, suffering fractured ribs and an injured shoulder after he was assaulted by the suspect

He had to be taken to the hospital, and he'll likely miss a month of more of work as a result of the confrontation while his injuries heal.

An emotional Angela Krapf appeared before Coaldale Borough Council earlier this week and described her husband's misfortune. She wept as she told of the ordeal and wondered out loud to council how much worse the situation might have been were it not for the other officer, Charles Blesse, also responding to the scene.

Mrs. Krapf begged council to drop any proposals to decrease the number of officers on duty at night, a move that would be considered a cost-saving plan.

"I just thank God there was somebody out there with him, because I don't know what would have happened to him," she said. "If nothing else, that should be a reason why there should be two people on."

Coaldale is a small community, one strapped with money problems like most other towns during these difficult economic times. Community officials are trying to save tax dollars wherever they can.

But Sgt. Krapf's situation should impact Coaldale officials to not even consider cutting back the nighttime police presence to only one officer.

Yes, local towns like Coaldale, Lansford, Summit Hill and Tamaqua, back each other up when a serious situation arises. But sometimes that help wouldn't come as quickly as if officers had backup from their own departments to rely on.

Mrs. Krapf reminded council, "it is your job to protect them (police) and give them what they need to be safe and to keep this town safe."

We agree. And we hope council does also when it is attempting to structure a budget for Coaldale.

Bob Urban

rurban@tnonline.com