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Firearms-Related Deaths Of Law Enforcement Officers Continue To Rise In First Week Of 2012

Seven officers killed in last seven days; six of whom were feloniously gunned down on the job

January 6, 2012

Washington, DC — The past week has been especially deadly for law enforcement with seven officers killed while on duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Firearms-related fatalities account for six of these seven fatalities, as armed and dangerous criminals continue to target law enforcement officers.

Just five days into 2012, three peace officers have been viciously gunned down, including two on New Year’s Day: Sergeant Abimael Castro-Berrocales of the Puerto Rico Police Department was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop, and Park Ranger Margaret Anderson of the U.S. Department of the Interior - National Park Service, was shot and killed while attempting to stop a fleeing suspect. The third, Ogden (UT) Police Officer Jared Francom, was fatally shot while serving a drug-related warrant on January 4. Five other officers were shot in the Ogden incident and are currently in critical to stable condition.

“I’m deeply saddened for the surviving family members, loved ones, and colleagues of these brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “Yet I’m equally outraged that these dangerous criminals are prowling the streets of America and killing the peace officers who are sworn to protect our communities,” he added.

In 2011, 177 law enforcement officers died were killed—a 16 percent increase over the 153 officer fatalities in 2010 and an astounding 45 percent increase over the 122 officer fatalities in 2009. Seventy-one of the fatalities in 2011 were firearms-related incidents, a 20 percent increase over the 59 firearms-related fatalities in 2010.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniformed Crime Report, of 69 offenders who were identified in connection with 56 felonious law enforcement deaths in 2010, nearly 83 percent (57) had prior criminal arrests.

Making matters worse, a recent survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) indicated that 60 percent of responding law enforcement agencies had cut back on training; 64 percent had cut back on buying or upgrading major equipment; and 58 percent had cut back on buying or upgrading technology. A report issued in October 2011 by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), predicted that by year’s end, nearly 12,000 police officers and sheriff’s deputies will have been laid off.

“Our law enforcement officers are being asked to do more with less and we must provide them the necessary tools to do their jobs effectively and safely,” said Mr. Floyd. “And we need a tougher criminal justice system that will protect our country’s citizens, including our peace officers, who have become visible and vulnerable targets for criminals,” he added.

In efforts to combat this growing problem, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has formed strong partnerships with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), among others, to promote law enforcement safety initiatives and raise public awareness.

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About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America's law enforcement officers and to promoting officer safety. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 19,298 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming.

To schedule an interview with Memorial Fund Chairman Craig W. Floyd, contact Steve Groeninger, sgroeninger@nleomf.org.

Steve Groeninger
steve@nleomf.org | (202) 737-7135