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Changing Attitudes... Improving Training... Increasing Accountability... Mobilizing Leadership...

The Good, the Cautious, and the Ugly

July 9, 2012Subscribe to Emails


There is good news to share, very good news – the first half of 2012 saw 49 line-of-duty deaths, the lowest number since 1959 and a 52% reduction from this same time last year.

But let’s be cautious – as encouraging as these numbers are, we can neither rest on our laurels nor relax in our vigilance. Each line-of-duty death is one too many.  We must actively continue in our efforts to change attitudes, improve training, increase accountability, and mobilize leadership in order for this trend to be sustainable.

And one particularly ugly fact remains – vehicle-related incidents (versus gunfire) continue to be the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths.  A significant percentage of these deaths were preventable - a fact that we should all obviously find unacceptable.

Remember:

  • Unsafe speed is the leading cause of law enforcement fatal and injury collisions.
  • The majority of vehicle-related officer fatalities occur while en-route to a call for service, where driving at a high rate of speed may not be necessary.
  • You are almost three times as likely to die when not wearing a seatbelt in a collision.

See the Officer Down Memorial Page for more information and biographical sketches of those lost in 2012 to date.

A related and very thoughtful article “Saving the Lives of Cops: Where do we go from here?” by Dale Stockton (editor of Law Officer Magazine, founder of Below 100 and a SAFE Driving Campaign Advisory Board member).

The SAFE Driving Campaign is a POST initiative focused on reducing fatal and serious injury law enforcement traffic collisions nationwide.


Wear your seatbelt, watch your speed, and practice SAFE driving!

The SAFE Driving Campaign is a POST initiative focused on reducing fatal and serious injury law enforcement traffic collisions nationwide.  For further information regarding the SAFE Driving Campaign, visit the SAFE Driving Campaign on the POST Website or contact:

Robert "R.C." Smith, POST Senior Consultant
Training Program Services Bureau
(916) 227-3902

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