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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For cops, traffic accidents deadlier than guns


By Roger Roy | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted December 29, 2004


Traffic accidents are claiming a growing number of U.S. law-enforcement officers' lives each year, especially in Florida, even as the number of officers shot to death declines, a new study has found.

So far this year, 154 law-enforcement officers have died in the line of duty, slightly below the average for the past 10 years, according to a report released Tuesday by two nonprofit law-enforcement support organizations.

But 72 of those deaths were attributed to traffic accidents, compared with 57 officers who died from shootings. The others died of various causes, from aircraft accidents to job-related illnesses.

In Florida, traffic claimed an even larger share of officer deaths.

Twelve state and local officers died in Florida this year, up from seven in 2003. Nine of the 12 died in vehicle accidents. And a 13th officer to die in Florida this year, a U.S. Secret Service agent, also was killed in a traffic accident. Two Florida officers were shot to death this year, the same number as the previous year.

"The larger proportion of deaths from traffic accidents is the big trend we've seen over the past several years," said Chris Beakey, a spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which prepared the study with the organization Concerns of Police Survivors.

Beakey said wider use by law officers of bulletproof vests and improved training have helped reduce the number of fatal shootings of officers. The organization is advocating better driver training and safer vehicles to cut the number of traffic-accident fatalities.

The memorial fund's report concludes the 154 deaths this year are slightly below the 10-year-average of 164 deaths per year.

Because of different methodology, the deaths reported by the memorial fund don't match those of the detailed annual report by the FBI, which is considered the definitive word on U.S. police-officer deaths.

But the FBI statistics also have shown a rising proportion of accidental deaths among officers. The FBI report for 2004 police deaths won't be released until late next year.

The memorial fund's report lists only two Florida officers who were fatally shot in the line of duty this year. They were deputy sheriffs in Marion and Broward counties. Another deputy sheriff in the Panhandle suffered a fatal heart attack during a training exercise.

The nine Florida officers to die in traffic accidents this year include three Central Florida officers who died within a six-week stretch.

In October, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Darryl Haywood died in a crash while trying to catch a speeding car and motorcycle on Interstate 4 near DeLand. Six days later, Brevard County Sheriff's Agent Lucille Ross died in a crash on I-95 while rushing to a crime scene. In November, Ormond Beach police Officer Robert Grim was fatally injured when struck by a vehicle while investigating a traffic accident.

Haywood was one of two FHP troopers to die in traffic accidents this year.

The patrol has worked for years to improve safety for troopers, said Lt. Col. Ken Howse, a spokesman for the FHP. After a fatal crash involving a trooper several years ago, the patrol worked with automakers to make patrol vehicles safer, he said, and troopers take special driver-training classes.

"We're looking now at possibly adding fire-suppression systems to patrol cars, side-impact air bags, all sorts of things," Howse said.

But the highways remain a dangerous place for officers.

"Our troopers patrol 37 million miles every year, so there are going to be accidents, no matter how careful you are," Howse said.

Most unnerving for officers are the drivers who seem to pay no heed to officers' emergency lights, Howse said.

"I was talking not 30 minutes ago to an officer who had somebody stopped to write a ticket on Interstate 10," Howse said. "He said a motor home came by and probably missed his patrol car by a foot. Some people, they just aren't paying attention."
 

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Kinda like what we had talked about a while back. Where more people were killed by deer accidents than drunk drivers. Now we have to ban deer and police cars.
 

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Poof no eyebrows
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We lost a columbus police officer a couple weeks or maybe a month ago due to a head on collison from a drunk. First female columbus cop killed in the line of duty if I remember correctly.
 

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Custer said:
For cops, traffic accidents deadlier than guns


By Roger Roy | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted December 29, 2004


Traffic accidents are claiming a growing number of U.S. law-enforcement officers' lives each year, especially in Florida, even as the number of officers shot to death declines, a new study has found.
Well, I suppose I could say "If cops obeyed the posted speed limits as they are required to do, and if they would realize that radio waves travel faster than any car and if cops could control the adrenaline rush of chasing someone at 100+ MPH through a densely populated area, there wouldn't be so many accidents and fatalities".

But, then I would be accused of "cop bashing"... :rolleyes:

Roger
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Krupski said:
Well, I suppose I could say "If cops obeyed the posted speed limits as they are required to do, and if they would realize that radio waves travel faster than any car and if cops could control the adrenaline rush of chasing someone at 100+ MPH through a densely populated area, there wouldn't be so many accidents and fatalities".

But, then I would be accused of "cop bashing"... :rolleyes:

Roger
You, a cop basher?

Say it ain't so...
 
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