I'm pleased to announce we are beginning our research on 2013 incidents for next year's Officer Down book and seminar. My husband, also a former police officer, is serving as my partner on this project. I'm happy to report that the numbers are down this year. We don't know the reasons yet, if it is even possible to discern them. However, 2012 is not over yet. Let's hope the numbers stay down.
My gut instinct about the trends in 2013 is that we will continue to see ambushes and mentally ill shooters continuing to take out police officers. We will continue to see traffic stops and pedestrian stops that are deadly. And, unfortunately, the work of Officer Down will go on.
Did you know that we lost ZERO state troopers to gunfire last year? Not so in 2012. We lost two WV troopers this past week as a result of a shooting on the freeway. As I took the stage at the NRA to give my class last week, my students learned about this terrible incident. The media reports suggest the shooter carried a firearm with him into the back of the patrol car and retrieved it while he was handcuffed. We had NO incidents like this is 2011, but I do remember cases like this from my days as a recruit. This is yet another tragedy for law enforcement.
My greatest hope is that my work will change the way that we police for the better. If my work saves one life, changes one line-of-duty incident from an execution to a survivable shooting, or equips one officer with the tools to better prepare others for duty in these dangerous times, I will count this project as a success.