Early this year, news of the escalating law enforcement deaths in this country spread fast, and after America lost 11 of its officers in a startling 24-hour period, people paid attention. It was the topic of national and local news for a few weeks. However, it started to alarm me that the wrong kind of conclusions were erroneously being drawn from the spike in officer deaths.
It was as if a national alarm went off and people outside our industry paid attention: cops are being killed at a rate contrary to our technical capabilities and the state or our police service and protection.
However, while the daily reality is police work is deadly work at a rate beyond most others, other news reports were less solid on the facts.
In one case, a headline claimed danger is real, but law enforcement deaths were “increasingly rare.”
Some of the conclusions I was reading strayed from what you and I know to be truth: law enforcement officers are killed every day in this nation. And while our technology has evolved rapidly, including in health care, body armor products and less-lethal devices, the present day increase should be an alarm.
That’s when I reached out to Craig Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and an industry spokesperson sought frequently by reporters to weigh in on the law enforcement deaths. I wanted to know what he thought about the the mainstream media phenomenon surrounding the news and what his conversations with other reporters had been like.