The only operation that Artan Cuku failed in his career was the one to save his own life. Although he had left police ranks, the senior official managed to dodge the two perpetrators that ambushed him on Saturday, 18 April at 8.11 pm. Although thanks to his intuition and reflexes, not only he managed to understand their objective, but also fight them, he remained killed with five bullets at the entrance of the apartment bloc where he lived. Such location so close to his home could have been a location for any victim whom he rushed to save while in service, but never for police inspector Cuku. The police hero who during his 16 years career arrested hundreds of culprits and criminals, who led hundreds of operations, who solved tens of murders and who never made compromise with the underworld, suddenly remained himself a victim. A victim who proved that the people that defend this state are easier to hit when this state, for which he worked and sacrificed, throws them on the road.
To understand the level of crime in Albania from 1990 until today and the cost that police has had in these 27 years, we need to mention some figures: 6700 people have remained killed and among them 260 police officers of all ranks. The blood shed by this ‘army’ shows that in these 27 years, police are the biggest victim of the Albanian state. We still don’t know if among the 260 police officers who have been killed, a star with the name of Artan Cuku will be added to the memorial erected a few months ago at the Ministry of Interior. This dilemma is even bigger because on 1 June 2014, his superior had signed his removal under the absurd motive of “job cuts and inability to appoint him in another post”, according to the law regarding State Police. But in the minds and hearts of those who cooperated and knew Artan Cuku, there’s no law that can remove him. Nobody can remove from their minds and hearts everyone’s hero, who, had he still been a police officer, he could have saved himself from that criminal hand.
If Artan Cuke hadn’t been removed from police, today he would have been participating in some operation and his superiors would have taken credit for him.
If Artan Cuku hadn’t been removed from police, today he would have been solving a crime taken place before and his superiors would still be boasting.
If Artan Cuku hadn’t left police, today he would have been organizing some operation against criminal elements operating in his area and everyone would be boasting with this.
If Artan Cuku hadn’t left police, the state would have an extra weapon in its hand to fight crime.
If Artan Cuku hadn’t left police, he would dedicate less time to his son and daughter, but police would have an idealist leader within its ranks.
If Artan Cuku hadn’t left police, we, journalists would still have our hero within police ranks.
But not everything in this life can be solved with an “if”. Although more than 100 years ago, in his masterpiece, poet Rudyard Kilping raised 11 “ifs” on the issue of life, the Nobel Prize winner could not still offer an answer. Despite of these “ifs”, they removed Artan Cuku and criminals killed him. The criminal hand killed our hero. Farewell, our hero!