2011 is again one of the deadliest years for police across the nation. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), law enforcement deaths are up 13% over last 2010 nationwide to date. However, the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) reminds the public that officers remain committed to their duties, and will continue to serve their public.
“Any notice of an officer’s death sends shockwaves throughout the law enforcement community,” states Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, President of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association. “The loss of five Arizona police officers this year is a chilling statistic.”
NLEOMF released that there have been 173 officer fatalities so far this year, 68 of which were from gun fire. In years past, Arizona has gone without losing an officer in the line of duty. “Officers have a duty to protect and serve,” adds Chavez. “The law enforcement professionals I have spoken with continue to take pride in their jobs despite the increased dangers.”
Recently convicted and current suspects awaiting trial for killing a police officer had previous convictions for crimes like aggravated assault, burglaries and drug usage/possession. Officers continue to deal with the unknowns of any traffic stop, which is one of the most dangerous jobs in law enforcement. “Officers have no idea who they are going to encounter any given moment. Suspects continue to fight back against our officers in efforts to not go to jail, or other personal reasons,” says Chavez. “This adds additional dangers to our job.”