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Men, women in blue deserve our respect

We are beside ourselves in wondering why there has been an uptick in violence against our law enforcement officers.

Reference the shooting of a state trooper in rural Nelson Township in neighboring Tioga County early Wednesday.

Although we may hear more about violence committed by police, violence against police officers is a much more worrisome problem in the United States. We also decry the growing rhetoric against our men and women in blue.

Their authority — their sacred duty — deserves respect but we see a very troubling pattern of a growing lack of respect.

There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (https://nleomf.org).

Crime fighting is taking its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1786, there have been over 21,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 21,910 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

A total of 1,582 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 55 hours or 158 per year. There were 158 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2018.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report 2017 LEOKA report: There were 60,211 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2017, resulting in 17,476 injuries.

The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,480 officers died, or an average of almost 248 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 310 officers were killed. That figure dropped dramatically in the 1990s, to an average of 162 per year.

The deadliest day in law enforcement history was Sept. 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.

New York City Police Department has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 899 deaths.

Texas has lost 1,751 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 24.

There are 1,166 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 713 correctional officers and 43 military law enforcement officers.

There are 348 female officers listed on the Memorial; 11 female officers were killed in 2018.

In the past five years, the number of officers killed in the line of duty — those categorized as felonious deaths of law enforcement officers — has been on the rise.

Meanwhile, the southern United States is being called the “epi-center” of violence against law enforcement.

At Dec. 10, 22 police officers in the southern United States had been killed in the line of duty year-to-date — more than the rest of the United States combined, according to data from the FBI.

What will it take to stop this horror?

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