130 police officers will not be here for Christmas this year [video]

130 police officers will not be here for Christmas this year [video]

130 police officers will not be here for Christmas this year [video]

Law enforcement is a dangerous profession, but officers enter it willingly with a sense of purpose. This year the U.S. has lost 130 police officers in 33 states. At least 61 have been killed by gunfire. Only two of those deaths were accidental. All the rest are due to armed suspects who in the course of an arrest shot the officer, or in the more publicized cases, assassinated the officer. Police officers killed in the line of duty this year:

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Last year, 110 officers were killed, but only 36 deaths were firearms related. In 2016, the number of police shot and killed is the highest number in the last decade, except for 2011 when 73 were killed, and in 2007 when 70 were killed. The next leading cause of death is auto accident which averages around 40. This should illustrate quite clearly that the greatest danger facing officers is a violent offender, which gives them good reason to be cautious of anyone with whom they interact.

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While thinking President Obama would be any help to squelch the violence, particularly the officer executions, is a lost cause, it falls to citizens to both vocally support law enforcement, and to adhere to appropriate behavior whenever interacting with the police.

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When police face such grim statistics each day, they cannot be expected not to have a heightened sense of anxiety when they are on the job. When they have been targeted simply for wearing the uniform, adhering to previous standards of conduct may not be enough to keep them safe. In effect, they have to be on-guard which will inevitably lead to more situations that may not have been so tense otherwise.

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Some are calling for heightened punishment for the killing of a police officer.

“One of the first things I do, in terms of executive order if I win, will be to sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country — out to the world — that anybody killing a policeman, policewoman, a police officer — anybody killing a police officer, the death penalty. It’s going to happen, OK?” Trump said in brief remarks to the several hundred police union members gathered for the endorsement.

This is a justifiable response and should be seriously reviewed by lawmakers.While implementing this via executive order is unlikely, it could become a federal crime, or provide support to changing states’s own criminal codes. Laws are put into place in order to discourage behavior as well as to punish. Upon conviction, a life sentence or the death penalty would be an appropriate reward for killing an officer.

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Going forward too, Americans need to hold President-Elect Trump to his promise to support our police officers. To regain order, this message must be clearly embraced at the highest levels of government.

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President Obama’s cozying up to people who hate police has undermined the authority of law enforcement and contributed to the distrustful relationship between communities and cops. Obama has squandered the opportunity to bring real and lasting change for communities plagued by crime, but being the community agitator that he is, he only knows one thing, and that’s how to stir the pot. He doesn’t actually know how to fix anything.

So while America gets back to the business of fixing things, let’s remember two things: No administration can correct all of America’s problems without some help from America’s citizens. Pay attention and stay involved. Don’t think you can wake up in four years and simply vote to keep this country on course. We got off course and let Obama break things at will. That’s the big picture stuff, but also just consciously connect with each other. Remember these officers at this time of year. This will be the first Christmas their families will face without them. We’ve got a lot of healing to do.

 

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