It is far too early to draw any conclusions from these statistics. It is soon enough to begin to pay attention to the trends developing, however. In less than two full months (January & most of February 2011) law enforcement officer fatalities are up over 2000% from 2010. A variety of possible factors may be cited. One of these factors in particular concerns me.
Up to now, the prohibition years showed the highest totals. This was a time when society in general was not entirely in sympathy with prohibition. They often turned a blind eye to criminal activities designed to thwart prohibition. These activities led to clashes with law agencies, and thus to law enforcement fatalities. Society attitude toward law enforcement condoned clashes, and was generally unsympathetic with law enforcement.
It is entirely possible that present day societal attitudes toward the wide use of drugs (of all types) are beginning to encourage criminal – law enforcement clashes leading to fatalities in much the same fashion as prohibition attitudes.
A dynamically different factor is jihadist clashes with the authorities (as well as the general population). It is much easier to understand societal drug use generating fatal encounters than what role jihadist encounters will bring.
Citizen fear is what jihadist actions try to increase. In the twin towers attacks we saw anger and determination rise in US citizens, a similar though shorter-lived reaction than that of the 12-7-41 Pearl Harbor attack. Civilian attitudes and reactions today are not yet fully formed about jihadists. All of this is simply offered as some things to be aware of in our society.
Fr. Orthohippo 2-27-2011
Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities
February 27, 2011
2011 2010 % Change
Total Fatalities 30 33 -09%
Gunfire 16 11 +45%
Traffic Incidents 8 16 -50%
Other Causes 6 6 -0%
Please note: These numbers reflect total officer fatalities comparing February 27, 2011 to February 27, 2010.
2011 Fatalities – Top States
New York 3
New Jersey 1
North Carolina 1
South Carolina 1
Federal Agencies: 3
U.S. Territories: 0
Causes of Law Enforcement Deaths
Over the Past Decade (2000-2009)
|CAUSE OF DEATH||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||2004||2003||2002||2001||2000||TOTAL|
|Struck by Falling Object||0||0||1||0||2||1||0||1||1||2||8|
|Struck by Train||0||1||0||0||1||0||1||2||0||0||5|
|Struck by Vehicle||10||18||14||16||16||13||13||14||24||16||154|
|Updated April 2010|
|Female Officers Killed||1||13||6||7||5||9||6||15||12||7|
|Officers Killed Wearing Body Armor||68%||64%||73%||66%||56%||53%||74%||62%||35%||62%|
|Updated April 2010|