Rise In Police Officer Deaths Blamed On Budget Cuts


U.S. police deaths rise again in 2011 – report

Reuters / 11:16 a.m. CST, December 28, 2011
Dec 28 (Reuters) – The number of U.S. police officers who
died in the line of duty rose 13 percent this year, another
annual increase that a professional group blamed on budget cuts.

Preliminary figures from the National Law Enforcement
Officers Memorial Fund showed 173 officers at the federal, state
and local levels were killed in 2011, up from 153 last year and
122 in 2009.

Gunfire was the number one cause at 68 deaths, a near-record
high. Traffic-related accidents killed 64 officers. Other causes
included job-related illness, falls, drownings and stabbings.

Fourteen officers were killed in Florida, more than any
other state, followed by Texas, New York, California and
Georgia.

“Drastic budget cuts affecting law enforcement agencies
across the country have put our officers at grave risk,” said
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund chairman Craig
Floyd.

“At a time when officers are facing a more cold-blooded
criminal element and fighting a war on terror, we are cutting
vital resources necessary to ensure their safety and the safety
of the innocent citizens they protect.”

By the end of this year, nearly 12,000 police officers and
sheriff’s deputies will have been laid off, according to a U.S.
Department of Justice report in October. Nearly 30,000 law
enforcement jobs are unfilled.
(Reporting by Karin Matz; Editing by Jerry Norton and John
O’Callaghan)

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