Study: Firearms fatalities for law enforcement jumped 72 percent
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - At the National Police Officers Memorial in Washington DC, the wreaths keep arriving.
“Unfortunately we are the only memorial here in the United States in our nation’s capital that has to add new names to that memorial each and every year,” said Craig Floyd,President & CEO National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
For Officer Brian McWilliams, with the Indianapolis Sheriff’s Department, it was a trip he hoped he wouldn’t have to make.
“Got a few friends that I worked side by side with that passed away over the last few years,” said McWilliams who was visiting the memorial with his 8-year-old son, Brian Jr.
He says his job has gotten much more difficult in the last two years and now every call that comes poses a risk.
“You might go on the same call multiple times a day but you’re dealing with different personalities, different ethnic groups,” he said.
Floyd echoed his sentiments.
“Every assignment is potentially life-threatening and that could be the most mundane traffic stop that officers do over and over in their career,” he said.
As of July 18, 2016, firearms fatalities for law enforcement officers had jumped 72 percent from the previous year – with 18 in 2015 and 31 in 2016, which includes the five officers targeted and killed in Dallas, TX on July 7 and the three in Baton Rouge, LA on July 17.
Barbara Anne Cady, visiting the memorial from Mississippi, said there seems to be a new reality.
“People just don’t feel safe, the people on the job or the public,” Cady said.