This mid-year report from the National Law Enforcement Memorial has just been released and I would describe it as a “mixed bag.”
Firearms death to law enforcement has reached a 20-year high and the report states, “The one piece of good news in the report is that the number of officers killed in traffic-related incidents (35) declined by 17 percent compared to the first half of 2010.”
I've been monitoring line of duty deaths for well over a decade and I can tell you that what we're seeing in violent deaths is as high as I have seen it, but I also know that we traditionally see an increase in line of duty deaths to roadways at the end of the year.
This is no time to celebrate. As I write this, the 100th officer has been killed in 2011 and I believe that our profession is missing some key ingredients to forever reducing the line of duty deaths.
What we are seeing, whether it's felonious deaths or roadway deaths, is unacceptable and I’m afraid that for many, it has become acceptable.
And you can do your part to prevent future line of duty deaths by embracing the core components of the Below 100 campaign. It's been endorsed by COPS and ODMP.
Let me ask a question: Why is not every national police organization embracing it? Why isn't every police chief giving the training to all of their officers?
At this point, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but rest assured my patience will become short and every line of duty death I see where these components could have prevented the death will test that patience.
It's time for the silence to end and it doesn’t matter who I upset, in the coming months there will be a change of tone. It's time for the real leaders of this profession to stand up and say, “No more!”
The lives and safety of true American heroes depend on it.