The number of police deaths from shootings have drastically decreased over the past 40 years. In 1973 the firearm related deaths of police peaked at 153 officers. Currently, on average about 52 officers are fatally shot a year. In 2013 the number officers who were fatally shot reached an all-time low of 33 officers killed.
What did the law enforcement community do to cause a 75% decrease in the number of officers being shot and killed? Based on reliable research from the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data collection report, the law enforcement world not only increased training but increased the quality of their training and thus considerably lowered the number of police deaths.
Quote from the President of the Non-Profit Officers’ Memorial Fund
Craig W. Floyd, president of the non-profit officers’ memorial fund is quoted in a 2016 Washington Times article, “Advancements in police training and equipment, coupled with a lower crime rate in general, have helped bring down the number of line-of-duty deaths over the past several decades”.
What Does This Mean?
There is no reliable data to determine if the number of citizens killed by the police have also benefited from lower crime rates. Eitherway, we can do what officers do and did. We can train our youth and citizens on best rules or strategies for interacting with officers. I am aware that there are other important factors that need to be addressed. But the training of citizens is an immediate step that we can all take with instant results.
There is a purposeful intent not to make assumptions or cast aspersions. The point is officers through training significantly decreased the number of officers killed. Citizens through training on best strategies for interacting with officers can also decrease the number of citizens shot and killed by the police. All of America would enjoy the benefit of having increased citizen and police training.