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FOP: Line-of-Duty Shootings, Ambush-Style Attacks Up in 2022

Article taken from Officer.com News.
 
On Monday, a suspect shot at officers conducting a car check. Scroll down for a story by Aarón Torres for The Kansas City Star
 
 
Police officers shot in the line of duty are up by over 40% from last year, while ambush-style attacks also have sharp increase, according to a new report by the National Fraternal Order of Police.
 
As of April 1, 101 officers have been shot this year, with 17 killed in those incidents, the FOP stated in its monthly update. The number of line-of-duty shootings is up 46% over the same period in 2021 and up 63% from 2022.
 
Arizona leads the country in officers shot, with 12. Texas (9), Missouri (8), Georgia (7) and New York (7) round out the top five.

In February, nine Phoenix officers were shot during a standoff that also was an ambush-style attack. Since April 1, there have been 19 ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers and agents. That’s up 36% over the same span last year.

“Premeditated ambush-style attacks are particularly disturbing and pernicious,” the FOP stated in its report. “These types of attacks are carried out with an element of surprise and intended to deprive officers of their ability to defend against the attack. Premeditated attacks contribute to a worrisome desensitization to evil acts that were once largely considered taboo except by the most depraved individuals.”

The data in the FOP’s monthly update consists of preliminary numbers and is subject to change. The FOP’s 2021 year-end summary will be published early this year.

Go to the FOP’s website to read the full report.

 

Drive-By Shooter Opens Fire at Mo. Police Officers

Story By Aarón Torres | Source The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Police Department is searching for a suspect who shot at police Monday morning.

Officers were conducting a car check in the area of 3300 Denver Avenue just before 11 a.m. when a gray car suddenly pulled up near the adjacent intersection and fired a shot toward the officers, Sgt. Jake Becchina, a spokesman for the department said.

The car fled in an unknown direction and no officers were injured, police said.

A suspect has not been arrested in the shooting.

Fox4 reported that the shooting occurred during a traffic stop and that no Kansas City police officers returned fire.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the homicide unit at 816-234-5043 or the anonymous TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

___

(c)2022 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Funeral Plans Set for Slain Bonne Terre Police Officer

Article by Gregg Palermo for Fox 2 Now

ST. LOUIS–Funeral arrangements have been announced for the Bonne Terre police officer who was killed in a motel shootout early Thursday.

Officer Lane Burns died Thursday after being shot multiple times by a suspect at a Motel 6. Burns and another officer, who was injured, returned fire, killing the suspect. Burns had ten years of experience in law enforcement and six with the Bonne Terre Police Department.

A funeral service will be held at the Mineral Area College Field House in Park Hills on Saturday, March 26. The family will receive visitors starting at 9 am until the service at 12pm. A funeral procession is scheduled to begin at the C.Z. Boyer and Son Funeral Home in Desloge, Missouri at 9 am and will lead to the burial service at the Harvey Cemetery in Carthage, Missouri.

Officer Burns leaves behind a fiance, Shannon Chasteen, and a 9-year-old daughter.

_______________________________

BackStoppers is Now Assisting the Family of Patrolman Lane Burns

BackStoppers is now assisting the family of Patrolman Lane Burns who was shot and killed on March 17, 2022 after responding to a disturbance call where a suspect opened fire.

Patrolman Burns was 31 years old and had served five years in law enforcement. He leaves behind his 5-year old and 9-year old children and his loving family.

We stand by the family and friends of Patrolman Burns, the Bonne Terre Police Department and every life that Patrolman Burns touched. Patrolman Burns will honored and we will never forget his sacrifice.

“My heart is heavy and is with everyone who loved Patrolman Lane Burns. This is a great tragedy and there have been far too many. We will support the family of Patrolman Burns and his legacy will be honored.” – Chief Ron Battelle, BackStoppers Executive Director

Ptlm. Lane Burns

We recognize the tremendous sacrifices that public servants make every day when they go to work. We understand the burdens placed on surviving spouses and children when tragedies occur. We believe our community has an obligation to care for the loved ones of those who have protected us. We accept the responsibility to make that happen.  Join us in our cause.  Help us provide life-long support for families of fallen heroes by donating or joining online or by mail to the address below.

The BackStoppers, Inc.
PO Box 795168
Saint Louis, MO 63179-0700

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Join the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association and proudly display your support for your local law enforcement and Missouri sheriffs.
Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way to ensure the office of Sheriff in Missouri remains a strong, independent office answerable to those citizens that it is sworn to serve and protect.

Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report Released 2021 Was Deadliest Year for Law Enforcement Officers in History

The number of law enforcement professionals nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2021 increased 55% over the previous year, according to preliminary data provided by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), the leading authority on officer fatalities.

NLEOMF announced in its official 2021 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report that as of December 31, 2021, 458 federal, state, county, municipal, military, campus, tribal, and territorial officers died in the line of duty during the past year, representing a 55% increase over the 295 officers who died in the line of duty in 2020. In the category of “Other” causes, which includes 301 Covid-19-related deaths, the number of fatalities is 338, an increase of 63% over 2020’s line-of-duty fatalities in this category.

“This time of year always reminds us of the sacrifice of law enforcement and the importance of our mission to honor the fallen, tell the story of American law enforcement, and make it safer for those who serve. The year 2021 will go down as the year of the most line-of-duty fatalities since 1930 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and increases in traffic fatalities and firearms ambushes,” said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto.

Most significant in the 2021 Fatalities Report are the number of officer deaths in the category of “other” causes, which increased 63% over the number of deaths from other causes in 2020 due to officers who died from contracting Covid-19 in the line of duty.

In addition to the 301 Covid-19 deaths, 37 officers died from other causes, including 25 officers who died in the line of duty from health-related illnesses, such as heart attacks, strokes, and 9/11-related illnesses. In addition, 4 officers were beaten, and 4 officers drowned in 2021. There were 2 officers stabbed to death, 1 was killed when their patrol vehicle was swept away by floodwaters, and 1 was killed in a tornado.

Firearms-Related Fatalities

Firearms-related fatalities claimed the lives of 62 officers in 2021, a 38% increase compared to the 45 officers killed in firearms-related incidents in 2020.

Of the 62 firearms fatalities:

  • 19 were ambushed and killed
  • 8 were investigating suspicious activities or persons
  • 7 were attempting an arrest
  • 7 were killed responding to domestic disturbance calls, which led to a tactical situation and an ambush
  • 7 were disturbance calls, which led to a tactical situation
  • 3 were killed during traffic enforcement, which led to an ambush
  • 3 were fatally shot responding to burglary or robbery in-progress calls
  • 3 involved drug-related investigations
  • 2 were killed during tactical encounters
  • 2 were inadvertently and accidentally shot and killed
  • 1 was killed during an encounter with a suicidal subject.

Traffic-Related FatalitieTraffic-related fatalities increased 38% with 58 deaths in 2021 compared to 42 deaths in 2020.

Of the 58 traffic-related deaths:

    • 19 were automobile crashes involving a collision with another vehicle or fixed object
    • 9 were single-vehicle crashes
    • 27 were struck-by fatalities
    • 3 officers have been killed in motorcycle crashes

Top 6 States with the Largest Number of Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities

  • Texas experienced the largest number of law enforcement officer fatalities of all U.S. states with 84 line-of-duty deaths
  • Florida had the second highest number with 52 officer deaths
  • Georgia had the third highest number with 39 officer deaths
  • California had the fourth highest number with 24 officer deaths
  • North Carolina had the fifth highest number with 21 officer deaths
  • Tennessee had the sixth highest number with 18 officer deaths

In addition, 45 federal officers, 7 territorial officers, and 3 tribal officers died in the line of duty this year. Only 10 states and the District of Columbia did not lose an officer this year.

There were 417 male officers killed in the line of duty, and 41 female officers. The average age of the fallen officers is 48, with 17 years of service. On average, officers left behind two children.

There are currently 22,611 names of officers killed in the line of duty inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, dating back to the first known death in 1786. The deadliest year on record for law enforcement was 1930 when 312 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.

The statistics released are based on preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and do not represent a final or complete list of individual officers who will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2022.

NLEOMF CEO Marcia Ferranto and Troy Anderson, Executive Director of Officer Safety and Wellness, addressed the public via Livestream at 8:00am Eastern today, January 11, about the findings. To watch the Livestream, tune into the NLEOMF Facebook page or watch on YouTube.

For a complete copy of the 2021 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report, go to: LawMemorial.org/FatalitiesReport.

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2021 Year-End Fatality Report to Release January 11, 2022

This year, hundreds of names were engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, bringing the total to 22,611 officers killed in the line of duty. Photo courtesy of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund NLEOMF.org

 

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced that its proprietary 2021 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report, which will encapsulate the data and causes surrounding line-of-duty deaths in 2021, will release on Tuesday morning, January 11. When released, the report is expected to show that Covid-related line-of-duty deaths display a marked increase over the same period in 2020. In addition, struck-by traffic deaths, officer ambushes, and firearms fatalities also increased over 2020.

NLEOMF CEO Marcia Ferranto and Executive Director of Officer Safety and Wellness, Troy Anderson, will be addressing the community via Livestream at 8:00am Eastern on January 11 about the findings. To watch the Livestream, tune into the NLEOMF Facebook page or watch on YouTube.

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Join the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association and proudly display your support for your local law enforcement and Missouri sheriffs.
Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way to ensure the office of Sheriff in Missouri remains a strong, independent office answerable to those citizens that it is sworn to serve and protect.

How Do We Save More Blue Lives From Being Murdered?

Most of the killings tragically involve a definable list of deadly tactical errors. The “Blue Lives” books list many of those errors that are compromising officer safety.

 

Story by Greg Meyer, a retired Captain from the Los Angeles Police Department for Police.1

 

“We dishonor the fallen if we ignore the lessons that would have saved them.” — Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Commander Sid Heal (ret.)

On average, during the past year or so, one officer is murdered in the line of duty each week. The good news is the numbers are lower than a generation ago. The bad news is that the number is not zero.

Just within LA County over the past 44 years, I have attended many police funerals. Wherever you live, you may have had (or will have) that bitter experience. After the funerals, we must look beyond the grief. We must figure out what happened, and why. We must learn the lessons. And we must teach those lessons to current and future officers.

FOCUSING ON HOW TO SAVE OFFICERS’ LIVES

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and former Head Deputy District Attorney Bob Schirn are on a mission to lower the tragic death count of officers murdered in the line of duty. They have published two books already with that goal in mind – “Blue Lives Matter: In the Line of Duty” and “Blue Lives in Jeopardy: When the Badge Becomes the Target” – with a third on the way. It has been my honor to write the lessons learned section for each chapter.

Some of the killings were ambushes. It is hard to fight against an ambush, whether in the military or on the street. But most of the killings tragically involve a definable list of deadly tactical errors.

What is most painful to me is that many of the recurring tactical errors are listed in the 44-year-old book “…officer down, code three” written by famed Los Angeles Police Department detective, the late Pierce Brooks, who moved on to be chief of police of Lakewood, Colorado. That book was worth a read when I was a rookie cop, and it’s worth a read now.

The “Blue Lives” books take a critical look at the tragedies, the prosecutions and the trials of suspects who survived. They focus on how the officer’s life might have been saved.

Here are brief descriptions of two cases from “Blue Lives in Jeopardy: When the Badge Becomes the Target,” the second book in the series:

  • An officer was working alone patrolling a commercial area in the middle of the night, where there was little traffic or legitimate activity. He saw two men and a woman walking and elected to stop and investigate. He did not radio his location or the nature of the stop. He did not request a backup unit. Yet he initiated a frisk search of one of the subjects. For reasons we cannot know, the officer was either unaware of or allowed the killer and the killer’s girlfriend to approach within a few feet of where he was searching the other suspect. The killer then quickly closed in and killed the officer with one shot to the head.
  • A deputy working by himself went looking for a violent felon who had shot somebody. But he did not communicate with the dispatcher or other deputies when he saw the suspect. The deputy chased him alone and knocked on doors to try to find him. Even then, he did not ask for backup. The suspect opened the door and shot him to death.

These are tragic but classic examples of what Pierce Brooks called “tombstone courage,” one of the 10 deadly officer safety errors he describes in his book.

Supervisors and peer officers often reflect after these cases that “everybody knew” about an officer’s work habits of ignoring policy and training and needlessly putting him/herself into dangerous situations (or not wearing a seatbelt, or overdriving, or unnecessarily cursing at people…any number of things that could be prevented by appropriate supervision and peer pressure).

At least a few cases have involved the failure of bosses to listen to the troops asking for better equipment. Ask LAPD Officer Archie Nagao. Facing three robbers armed with high-capacity semi-automatic handguns in a jewelry store, Archie killed one of the robbers but was shot through the neck while armed with just a six-shooter. His partner, Duane Curtis Johnson, was shot and died on the floor. Archie survived. It was December 19, 1984, in Chinatown. As a young sergeant, I happened to be the second unit at the scene. Sure enough, we got semi-automatic handguns after that, after years of asking for them. This case is detailed in the third book in the series, “Blue Lives Under Fire: Shootouts,” which is pending publication.

SURVIVING SHOOTOUTS  

“Blue Lives Under Fire: Shootouts” will feature several shootouts involving the Los Angeles Police Department, including the 1974 Symbionese Liberation Army shootout and the 1997 North Hollywood bank shootout. It was a miracle no officers were killed during the latter event ‒ although several were shot ‒ when dozens of officers armed only with handguns and shotguns took on robbers armed with fully-automatic military rifles in a 44-minute gun battle that should have lasted less than 44 seconds. LAPD got police rifles for a lot of patrol cars after that. 

The book also details shootouts involving individual officers who lost their lives or nearly did in one case. That one surviving officer was shot and flat-lined a couple of times but is alive because a doctor decided to give it one more try. It is the story of LAPD Officer Stacy Lim.

Off duty in front of her own house, having been followed home by a car full of gang members who wanted to steal her truck, Stacy was confronted and shot in the chest, wounding her heart and kidney and destroying her spleen. Before she went down, she managed to shoot and kill her would-be killer.

Stacy always told herself, “Today is not the day.” Thanks to her courage, physical conditioning and that mantra, that day was not her day. Lessons learned? Stacy chose to be armed off duty at all times, and that saved her life. And this lesson is pretty important: Stacy learned the hard way that when someone is pointing a gun at you, there is no time to give a warning. Stacy tried to give a warning, and she got shot in those split seconds. Thank goodness she lived to tell us about it.

The public and the media do not seem to understand that these facts of life and death confront officers every day. But many officers who are now dead in their graves know the dangers too late. And we must learn from them. That is the hard truth of these books.

HOW DO WE REDUCE THESE TRAGEDIES?

Great leaders stay ahead of the game. They provide proper policy, training and equipment needed before tragedy strikes. These leaders follow up to make sure their officers are doing the right thing on the streets, and they will correct them when they do unsafe things. Guiding, training and caring enough to provide correction when warranted goes a long way toward reducing these tragedies in our profession.

Steve Cooley and Bob Schirn are on a mission to lower the number of these tragedies. By writing frankly about the cases of peace officers murdered throughout LA County, and sharing the legal aftermath and the lessons learned, this book series can make a difference.

These books should be widely read in police academies, supervisor schools, by prosecutors and attorneys who defend police officers, by tactics trainers and by anyone who cares to learn how we can reduce the number of officers who are murdered.

Taken to heart, these books will save lives.

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Join the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association and proudly display your support for your local law enforcement and Missouri sheriffs.
Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way to ensure the office of Sheriff in Missouri remains a strong, independent office answerable to those citizens that it is sworn to serve and protect.

Volunteers Are Needed for Law Enforcement Events

The Memorial Fund is hosting two events that support law enforcement in October, and we need your help!

Friendly and energetic volunteers are needed to donate time to a great cause. You’ll receive job training, a T-shirt, and a free admission ticket to the National Law Enforcement Museum as a thank you.

Run for the Badge

Saturday, October 9, 2021
National Law Enforcement Museum
Washington, DC 

Come meet law enforcement supporters from across the country at our annual 5K event! We are looking for volunteers to help us with welcoming guests, directing participants, assisting at water tables, and more.

Candlelight Vigil

Thursday, October 14, 2021
National Mall
Washington, DC 

Held in honor of the 701 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, each officer’s name will be read aloud during our annual evening ceremony held on the National Mall. Volunteers are needed to direct families and guests, pass out candles, check in dignitaries, assist with media, and more.

If you are interested in volunteering for either of these events, please email your full name, email address, phone number to best reach you and your availability for volunteering to volunteer@nleomf.org. A staff member will contact you within 24 hours.

The success of our many events depends on our volunteers and supporters. 

2021 Mid-Year Preliminary Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report

2021 on trend to be one of deadliest years for law enforcement in history

Washington, DC, (July 14, 2021)—— The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has released its Mid-Year Report of law enforcement officer fatalities. As the nationwide authority of line-of-duty deaths, NLEOMF releases reports each year that include officer fatality numbers and other statistics relevant to law enforcement.

This year’s Mid-Year Report indicates a significant increase in officer deaths and could potentially be the deadliest year for law enforcement on record, if trends continue.

So far in 2021, there have been 155 line-of-duty officer deaths. COVID-19 continues to be the number-one cause of death, reaching 71 officers so far this year. The report also notes that traffic fatalities are up 58%, with the leading cause being officers struck by vehicles, currently numbering 19 fatalities. This equals the entire number of struck-by fatalities in 2020.

Texas has the highest number of officer deaths at 25, followed by 15 federal agency deaths. Other states near the top of the list include Georgia (13 deaths), California (13 deaths), and Florida (10 deaths). Out of 155 line-of-duty death cases in 2021, 33 officers were feloniously killed. This includes 28 gunfire cases, three beatings, and two stabbings.

“These numbers are a tragic reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers are exposed to each and every day,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of NLEOMF. “The last two years have been incredibly difficult and dangerous for law enforcement. We will continue our work to honor the fallen and ensure that their sacrifice is never forgotten. We support those law enforcement officers who continue to work to keep our communities safe. They are our true heroes.”

To view the full report, or more information of law enforcement officers line-of-duty deaths, visit: https://nleomf.org/facts-figures/fatalities-reports.

About the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement, and making it safer for those who serve. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (LawMemorial.org) contains the names of 22,611 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The National Law Enforcement Museum (LawEnforcementMuseum.org) expands and enriches the relationship between law enforcement and the community by sharing true stories of service and sacrifice from across the nation. Through immersive, educational exhibitions and insightful programs, we preserve the history of law enforcement for generations to come.

Daniel Forde
Daniel@cirlot.com
(601) 664-2010

To view the full Fatality Report and addendum, visit https://nleomf.org/facts-figures/fatalities-reports.

Culver-Stockton Hosts Fundraiser for Fallen Officers

Charity Bell | Multimedia Journalist at WGEM​​

Culver-Stockton College students and community members gathered Sunday for their 12-hour Fallen Officer Project fundraiser.

Participants walked around the school’s track from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to honor law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty as well as to raise money for various foundations.

Fallen Officer Project director and Culver-Stockton professor Seth McBride said he personally understands the risks associated with law enforcement and said it’s important those lost in the line of duty are recognized.

“I’m a commissioned officer with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department on top of what I do here at Culver and it is something to recognize the men and women throughout the country who have given their lives to their communities,” McBride said.

Culver-Stockton junior Jordan Arbas also took part in this year’s project.

“You know there’s a lot of negativity around officers in the world today and so I wanted to learn a different perspective,” he said. “Taking a class from a reserve officer and also learning about the family stories, it’s just a whole new perspective that you’re looking at.”

Some participants said they know how it feels to lose a loved one doing their job.

Betsey Browning said she and her grandchildren walked for her son Casey Shoemate, a sheriff’s deputy in Miller County, Missouri, who died in 2018 in a head-on collision while responding to a structure fire.

“It’s really, really important to me that we don’t forget the sacrifices that not only my baby made, but that the other families made as well,” she said.

McBride said they raised a total of $5,425 for two law enforcement benefit foundations. Supporting Heroes helps support families of fallen officers while Who’s House Our House works to bridges the gap between communities and law enforcement through sports.

Browning said the effort made by the CSC community means the world to families going through pain she knows too well.

“Without these organizations that these young people are supporting, we as family members would not survive,” she said.

McBride says although they exceeded their original goal of raising $5,000 you can still donate to the Fallen Officer Project.

Click here to watch the news report.

Never Walk Alone

“O​fficer needs help!”

There are no phrases emanating from a police radio that evoke a more visceral response than that one. Regardless of the size of the department, the demographics of the community served or the type of jurisdiction, that phrase means an officer is fighting for their life! It may be an ambush, gun battle, foot chase or hand-to-hand combat, but to any officer who hears that call, the physiological response is the same: hearts race, minds plot the quickest route to the call, palms sweat, pupils dilate and even the least religious utter a word of prayer. But what happens when officers need a different type of help?

In 2019, the national media became acutely aware of police officer suicides and ran story after story, special after special. As quickly as their interest peaked, it waned. But the officers with problems, the officers who needed someone to talk with because of personal and/or professional issues, became unimportant to the media.

I’m a huge proponent of peer support programs; my first department launched peer support in the ’90s, modeling off the successful Secret Service and BATF peer-to-peer programs. At its zenith, the peer support program in that agency had over 200 peer members for a department of 13,000 officers. Times change and that agency now has fewer than 200 peers.

Smaller agencies can benefit from peer-to-peer programs. My current agency is a 100-person department serving a community of about 60,000 people in a major metropolitan area. When I first was appointed chief in 2012, I was approached by our police counselor, Victoria Poklop, who asked my feelings about peer programs. After some discussion, we decided to restart the long-dormant peer support program at our P.D. We began by having the officers on each shift nominate who they would feel comfortable sharing their problems with. Once we had nine members (six police officers and three sergeants) named by majority, we approached those officers and asked if they would be willing to become peer support team members. We relaunched our peer support team in early 2013.

A few departments near us began expressing interest in establishing peer teams as well, and while we assisted them, we also heard concerns from some of the smaller agencies; the concerns centered on the “beauty shop” mentality. The concern, real or imagined, is that an officer will share something with a peer supporter, who will then tell someone else, and that person will tell another, ad infinitum, until the chief finds out and takes disciplinary action. This concern led us to think of creative ways to form a peer support task force.

Task forces in law enforcement are nothing new; there were task forces formed to take down Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and even Al Capone. This would be different. We looked at how we could utilize our existing Major Case Assistance Team callout framework and apply it to the peer supporters. Any way we looked at it, it was going to be a daunting challenge to ensure the right people were on the call-out list every day. Enter VJ.

Victoria met the owner of Velan Technologies, a young brilliant web developer named VJ Harikrishna, through a mutual friend. Victoria started explaining what we were trying to do, and he offered to help. Through his selfless dedication and IT wizardry, VJ met with us and demonstrated which platform could best be utilized for this web-based peer support program.

What had started as an attempt to provide a method to make peers available to officers 24-7/365 had grown into a much larger venture. WeNeverWalkAlone.org was launched on May 13, 2019, from our P.D.’s Emergency Operations Center.

The simple idea now offers:

  • An interactive listing of peer support officers, both active and retired, from a variety of local, county, state and federal agencies, available to active and retired officers and their families
  • Over 50 vetted mental health professionals who are dedicated to giving scheduling priority to LEOs and their families
  • A list of external resources from financial counsel​​ors to white papers
  • A list of peer support coordinators

Departments can join WNWA for the low cost of $2 per officer per month; WNWA is in the process of applying for grant funding in order to make the system free to any agency that wants it.​

A​nyone interested in more information on WeNeverWalkAlone.org ​can email wkushner@sbcglobal.net.​

​By ​William Kushner ​| American Police Beat

About the Author
William Kushner ​is the chief of police in the city of Des Plaines.

The Many Challenges for Law Enforcement in 2020

This has been a tough year for law enforcement. The actions of a small handful of officers in some unfortunate and disheartening incidents received nationwide media attention that quickly led to mass protests and demonstrations against law enforcement. This civil unrest and the inaccurate narrative that paints all officers as bad has had an adverse impact on the hundreds of thousands of officers who do their job honorably and with integrity each day.

The Major Cities Chiefs Association, which is comprised of law enforcement leaders from 69 of the largest police agencies in the United States, detailed the impact of the unrest that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. The association found that more 2,000 law enforcement officers were injured within the first weeks of the protests and unrest. Between May 25 and July 31 there were 8,700 protests nationwide with 574 declared as riots with violence and various criminal acts.

Just as it is unwarranted to label all protesters as engaging in criminal activity, it is equally unwarranted to label all police officers as responsible for the injustices that we have all witnessed by a few police officers.

Now that the riots have subsided, the movement to defund police departments continues to have a demoralizing impact on the hundreds of thousands of officers who daily put their life on the line for the citizens that they serve. In addition, the Defund the Police movement undermines the opportunity to engage in real police reform to prevent rare occurrences of police misconduct. Reform can be accomplished through increased training, accountability standards, and field supervisory reforms. The Defund the Police movement, on the other hand, would only diminish law enforcement’s capability to address crime in the community and would likely make communities more unsafe.

Another nightmare for law enforcement this year has been the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike many professions, telecommuting is not possible in law enforcement. According to the Council on Criminal Justice, homicides in 20 major cities in the United States increased by 37% from May to June, led by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. Aggravated assaults increased by 35% during the same time. This, coupled with the riots and protests this summer, has led to lots of interactions between the police and the communities they serve.

This may explain why “more police officers have died from COVID-19 this year than have been killed on patrol,” according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP), a nonprofit organization that tracks law enforcement fatalities in the line of duty.

At least 101 officers have died from COVId-19, while at least 82 have died by other means, as of September, according to ODMP.

This year has no doubt had an impact on police morale. A study involving anonymous surveys provided to one agency in the Midwest found that around 80% of officers have considered leaving their police agency this year and 40% felt that morale was as low as it has ever been.

Most Americans never have any significant interaction with law enforcement. Therefore, it is especially important now that law enforcement officers throughout the United States be true representatives of the dedication and professionalism that is displayed day in and day out. Such displays will overshadow the false media narrative and the negative, unfounded impressions of law enforcement expressed by the misguided Defund the Police movement.

​By ​Dr. Jarrod Sadulski ​| American Military University Edge

About the Author
Dr. Jarrod Sadulski ​is an associate professor in the School of Security and Global Studies at APU. Jarrod was selected as the Coast Guard’s Reserve McShan Inspirational Leadership Award recipient for 2019. His expertise includes infrastructure security, maritime security, homeland security contraband interdiction and intelligence gathering.
 
Unsplash Photo by Kayle Kaupanger