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Statement From Memorial Fund CEO Craig W. Floyd on Montgomery County (MD) Officer Fatality

December 11, 2015

Washington, DC—In an ironic tragedy, the 118th law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in the country during 2015 was Montgomery County (MD) Officer Noah Leotta, 24, who died yesterday of injuries he received on December 3 when an alleged drunk driver’s vehicle struck him while he was working on DUI enforcement. Officer Leotta was hit while he was tending to another vehicle he had pulled over, suspecting the driver of that vehicle as being impaired. A three-year veteran of the Montgomery County (MD) Police Department, Officer Leotta is the 18th law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in Montgomery County’s history.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd expressed anger and sorrow in the wake of Officer Leotta’s death.

“Officer Leotta is one of nearly 550 officers throughout American history who have been killed in a traffic-related incident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol,” Mr. Floyd reported. “These drunk driving-related deaths are 100 percent preventable,” he declared.

Mr. Floyd cited some alarming statistics he suggested every American should remember and take heed:

  • Throughout American history, 1,334 officers died having been struck by a vehicle. Of those, 263 (20%) were due to impaired drivers.
  • Between 2010-2014, 59 officers died having been struck by a vehicle. Of those, 16 (27%) were killed by impaired drivers.
  • Between 2010-2014, 272 officers died in traffic-related incidents. Of those, 43 (16%) were due to an impaired driver.

“Responsible behavior by motorists includes not only driving sober but observing move-over laws that are in effect in all 50 states. Officers who have pulled over a vehicle to the side of the road often have only a few feet in which to operate. Drivers must move over a lane when they see an emergency vehicle on the shoulder. That is another way of preventing injury or death for law enforcement officers and others,” he concluded.

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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 telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,538 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 American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org

Jaclyn Barrientes
jbarrientes@nleomf.org
(704) 277-3035