Just last week a highly publicized memorial for the Lakewood Police Department took place in Washington State as a result of a fatal shooting in a local coffee shop where four police officers were ambushed days before the Thanksgiving holiday. A month later a Washington law enforcement officer was shot during a domestic disturbance call. And two days ago, an Alaska police officer was shot multiple times while sitting in his patrol car. These increasing acts of violence span from north to south, east to west -- no law enforcement officer is immune. Our thoughts and condolences go out to friends, family and the law enforcement communities touched by these heinous crimes.
We live and work in a changing world where incidents of crime, and the chance of attacks on uniformed police officers, are more likely than ever before. Despite the fact law enforcement fatalities are down from years prior (largely due to a reduction in traffic-related incidents), firearms-related killings have risen 23% since 2008. While the overall trend may be encouraging, as law enforcement officers we must remain as diligent, prepared and responsive as ever for the possibility of brutal, ambush-style attacks.
RESPECT. HONOR. REMEMBER.
- 125 officers were killed in 2009
- 133 officers were killed in 2008
- 162 officers were killed in the 2000s
- 160 officers were killed in the 1990s
- 190 officers were killed in the 1980s
- 228 officers were killed in the 1970s
- 72 officers were killed on September 11, 2001
- Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF)
In the coming year, let us recognize our fellow officers who have been wounded or killed in the line of duty, let us never forget the first responders who lost their lives on September 11 and may we continue to better prepare ourselves for incidents of violence and terror in a post 9/11 world.
Best Wishes to You and Yours in 2010,
Chadd Harbaugh, GTI President
"Success is NOT by Chance"