June 16, 2015

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LODD vs. Officer Assaults

 
Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with understanding the numbers regarding annual law enforcement line-of-duty deaths and officer assaults.

Whereas losing an average of 150 or so lives each year is certainly sobering, when compared to the overall number of assaults, it’s a mere drop in the bucket.

Every year the Department of Justice/ FBI releases their annual ‘Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted’ –LEOKA- report, breaking down the statistics of officers killed and assaulted in the line-of-duty across the United States. Each year, we call attention to the number of line-of-duty officer deaths as a reminder that we work in a dangerous world. However, one statistic that may be overlooked paints a more accurate picture of just how dangerous our jobs really are. What I am referring to are officer assaults, all assaults, including those that do not result in an officer’s death. Whereas losing an average of 150 or so lives each year is certainly sobering, when compared to the overall number of assaults, it’s a mere drop in the bucket.

Take 2010 for instance. In 2010, there were 173 LODDs. However, according to the stats, there were 53,469 assaults. That’s 954 times more assaults than LODDs! 954 times!

The pattern is the same in other years. As bad as getting killed is, being seriously injured as a result of being assaulted is nothing to scoff at either.

Focusing solely on officer deaths can be misleading. Don’t get me wrong- each death is tragic and I am doing nothing to minimize those sacrifices. But to solely focus on the number of officer deaths as a measure of how dangerous your job is can be very misleading.

So, as we strive to meet the Below 100 goal of fewer than 100 officer deaths per year, don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security only using the number of LODDs as a barometer of how dangerous the streets are. Keep yourself up to date on the number of assaults as well. That way you’ll have a clearer picture of just how hazardous your job really is!

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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