Two law enforcement support groups reported recently that 140 officers nationwide died on the job last year. While that number is down 41 from a year ago, a reversal attributed to better training and tactics, these were still too many deaths. But the good news is that the trend is headed in the right direction. There were 41 gunfire deaths in 2008, compared to 68 in 2007. Texas led the nation with 14 police officers killed. There were four Alabama police officers killed in the line of duty last year. The report was released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Concerns of Police Survivors. The Memorial Fund’s chairman said more than 70% of policemen use bullet-resistant vests, significantly more than just half a decade ago. That’s apparently paying off insofar as safety is concerned.
While the report is good news considering that the number of deaths is much less than in 2007, the number is still too high. Men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line on a daily basis for all of us. Law enforcement officers deserve and are entitled to full support from the people they serve and that should result in better pay and benefits and the very best in training and equipment. Total support from elected officials at every level is badly needed. It’s one thing for politicians to say they support law enforcement, but their words must be followed by positive action for them to have real meaning. Law enforcement needs must be a very high priority in budgets at the national and local levels, even in difficult economic times.
Source: Associated Press
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