As America enters its third full week of the calendar year tomorrow, seven police officers have already been confirmed killed this January. The latest death occurred Sunday, capping off a horrific seven days for the men and women in blue, in which officers also died in separate incidents on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
“We are disheartened to see an increase in law enforcement officer fatalities as we begin the new year,” Steve Groeninger, senior communications director of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, told Fox News. “This uptick serves as an important reminder of the dangers of the job for America’s peace officers and that we owe the men and women who serve our sincere debt of gratitude for their efforts to keep our communities safe.”
The Officer Down Memorial Page, which keeps a running list of deaths of police officers in the line of duty, said that while “officers throughout the country continue to remain vigilant to this type of unwarranted attack, unfortunately sometimes there is little that can be done to prevent such an incident.”
“So far in 2019 there have been six line of duty deaths, a 33 percent overall increase over the same time last year,” Chris Cosgriff, the Officer Down executive director and founder, told Fox News. “Felonious gunfire deaths are up 67 percent and vehicle-related incidents are also up 67 percent. All three of the traffic-related deaths involved officers being struck by vehicles while outside of their patrol cars.”
He added: “All three of these deaths could have been easily avoided had the offending drivers complied with their states’ move-over laws and no-texting-while-driving laws.”
The only cop not killed in the line of duty this year, Shreveport Police Officer Chateri Payne, was shot Wednesday night while preparing to head to work, investigators said. Her funeral has been set for this upcoming Saturday – and the “coward, or cowards” who opened fire at her – in the words of police — have not yet been found.