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by Peter Moskos

October 28, 2013

Fewer Officers Killed, Assaulted On Duty Last Year

Usually you only hear about this when the deaths goes up.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely. This has been the trend since the 70s, if I'm not mistaken. For obvious reasons, the FOP, PBA, et al, seem not to have received the memo. Using the "we put our lives on the line every day" platitudes to silence critics is a lot easier when people--cops and private citizens alike--are not familiar with the stats.

If more people were aware that being a police officer has actually become safer, the response to such police union statements--generally uttered after a controversial use of force--may be something like, "well, you guys do get to wear bullet-resistant vests and carry side arms, so doesn't that put you at an advantage over most people?" An even less PC response might point out that many police fatalities are related to vehicle crashes, not violence. And if you really want to stir the pot, one could point out that certain police activities and laws--notably, those associated with drug prohibition--have made the job more dangerous than it has to be.

Honest discussions like this might change minds in communities and police departments and lead to major changes. But I don't see this happening anytime soon, which is why I opted out of a career in law enforcement. Seemed to me like you couldn't be "a cop's cop" without chugging down the "its a war out their" kool aid.

--Dave in IL

PCM said...

Still, I know a lot more cops who have been shot and/or looked down the barrel of a gun than any other job I've ever worked. I also haven't run toward any gun shots since I last wore the uniform.

Policing may not be the most dangerous job in the world, but it is uniquely dangerous.

I just think it's important to remember that policing is becoming safer every year, not more dangerous.

Anonymous said...

They buried the lede:

Regions: Twenty-two of the felonious deaths occurred in the South, eight in the West, six in the Midwest, and six in the Northeast. Five of the deaths took place in Puerto Rico, and one officer was killed in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Regions: Twenty-seven of the accidental deaths occurred in the South, nine in the Northeast, eight in the West, and three in the Midwest.

Anonymous said...

"policing is becoming safer every year, not more dangerous."

That varies with the year. The numbers bounce up and down. Deaths were up in 2010 and 2011.


DB said...

Actually, Officer deaths overall have been decreasing since the 80's - 90's (LEOKA). There was a spike in the 2009 area, but they have dropped again. Regardless, PCM is correct that policing is "uniquely" dangerous in that you never know when its coming. It could be your next T stop, a DV, or just someone walks up to you while your clearing the roadway and shoots you in the head (just happened). So, to Dave in IL - I can only say (again) that policing is more safe today because of what we have learned from fallen officers years ago. Just like the latest wars have much less death than those of Vietnam and WWII....We learn, we evolve, and we try again.