10/1/15 War on Cops

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There’s a war on cops.

Just read a newspaper headline [here, here, here, here, here, here], blog column [here, here] or listen to the cable news channels [here, here].  And you’ll know it.

Except it’s not true.

There’s not only not a war on cops but gun-related attacks have been trending downward for 40 years.

Law enforcement data points this out.  The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the Officer Down Memorial Page have details on officer loss of life.

At the current rate, 2015 is on track to be the second safest year in more than 50.  With 31 fatal gun attacks, 2013 was the safest year since they’ve been keeping records.  This is still 31 too many.

The most dangerous time for firearms-related officer attacks was the 1960s and 70s.  Since then numbers have fallen dramatically.

Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of cop deaths in a typical year.  According to federal highway officials, 42% of officers killed in car crashes over a 30-year period weren’t wearing seat belts.  Many departments run “click-it or ticket” campaigns even while their own officers don’t wear seat belts.

Recent altercations captured on video have likely contributed to current perceptions toward law enforcement [here, here].  According to Gallup, public confidence in police is at a 22-year low.

Twenty-seven officers were killed by citizen gunfire as of mid-September. In comparison, more than 700 citizens were killed by on-duty officers.

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