(Photo Dale Stockton)
FEATURED IN NEWS
- New Jersey Cop Accused of Setting Fire to Captain's Home
- U.S. Park Police Furloughs Could Cause Holiday Weekend Response Delays
- Interstate Bridge Collapses Over Washington River
- 15-Year-Old Held in Murder of Siblings
- Dead Iowa Kidnapping Suspect Probed in Cousins' Deaths
- Colorado Killer's Reprieve Sharply Criticized
- Czech Police Seek US Man Suspected of 4 Murders
With one month left in 2011, we’ve lost 144 officers. That’s only four less than last year. The loss for November totaled six and that’s the lowest monthly total we have experienced in almost five years.
Every loss of an officer is nothing less than tragic, but we’re once again faced with the reality that officers die as a result of factors beyond gunfire. Candidly, many of our line-of-duty deaths are absolutely preventable, and we must be willing to learn from mistakes so that others might live. Following is a summary of our November losses.
A correctional officer lost his life when he was stabbed after stopping on his way to work to assist at a single car accident. The vehicle involved in the accident had been stolen and the subject stabbed the officer, stole his truck and fled the scene.
One officer died as a result of being struck head-on by a drunk driver while responding to a home invasion call. All indications are that the officer was driving at a reasonable speed and wearing his seat belt.
One officer died and another suffered serious injuries when their car crashed while they were responding to a report of a disturbance at a gas station. The police vehicle left the roadway and struck a highway divider which impaled the passenger side, killing the passenger officer. The officer driving the vehicle suffered serious leg injuries.
One officer died as a result of complications to surgery to correct a duty related injury. While recovering at home, the officer suffered an embolism and subsequently died.
Two officers died as a result of gunfire. One was shot several times during a foot pursuit of a bank robber. The other died as a result of being shot when he tried to take action while being robbed outside a nightclub. He was off-duty at the time.
It must be said again and again that cops do not have to die in the numbers that we continue to see. Although the LODD total for November was remarkably low, we can do better. Consider this: If we had experienced the same monthly number for the first 10 months of this year as we did in November, our total thus far would be 66 rather than 144, and the total for this year would come in well below 100. This is exactly what the goal of Below 100 is: Drive down line of duty deaths to less than 100 per year. We can do this!
We must be willing to critically study each loss and look for opportunities to prevent future deaths. We cannot afford to simply move on and accept these losses as a cost of doing business. Every death is absolutely devastating to the affected families and departments.
We must hold each other accountable and speak up when we see others taking unnecessary chances or failing to use safety equipment like seatbelts and body armor. We can drive down this horrible number that year after year reflects the tragedy of our profession. Together we can make a difference. We must make a difference. Remember: The life you save may be your own!
END OF WATCH: November 2011
Law Officer thanks each of these officers for their service, and sends its sincerest condolences to their friends, families and fellow brothers and sisters in blue.
Nov. 3: Police Officer Daniel Clark, San Bernardino (Calif.) Police Department
Calif. Officer Dies from Surgery Complications Following Duty-Related Injury
Nov. 7: Detective Michael Morgan, Newark (N.J.) Police Department
N.J. Off-Duty Detective Fatally Shot Stopping Robbery
Nov. 14: Detective R. Shane Wilson, Doraville (Ga.) Police Department
Doraville (Ga.) Police Officer Killed in Vehicle Collision
Nov. 17: Police Officer James Capoot, Vallejo (Calif.) Police Department
Vallejo (Calif.) Officer Shot to Death Chasing Bank Robbery Suspects
Nov. 21: Agent Mariano Rodríguez-Maldonado, Puerto Rico Police Department
Puerto Rico Officer Killed Responding to Disturbance
Nov. 29: Correctional Officer Buddy Ray Herron, Oregon Department of Corrections
Ore. Corrections Officer Slain Helping Motorist