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NLEOMF: Officers Killed by Gunfire Up 24% in 2009

NLEOMF: Officers Killed by Gunfire Up 24% in 2009

A member of Oakland Police Honor Guard stands at his post near the four caskets of Oakland Police Officers. (AP Photo)

The AP via YellowBrix

December 13, 2009

NEW YORK — A police officer is gunned down in his patrol car in Penn Hills, Pa., while waiting for backup. Near Seattle, four officers starting their day at a coffee shop are ambushed by an ex-con with a handgun. Another four officers are shot to death in Oakland, Calif., after a traffic stop gone awry. Across the nation, 2009 was a particularly perilous year for officers involved in gun disputes.

The number of officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire increased 24 percent from 2008, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a national nonprofit organization that tracks officer-related deaths.

As of Saturday, 47 police officers have died nationwide this year after being shot while on duty, up from 38 for the same time in 2008, which was the lowest number of gunfire deaths since 1956, according to the data.

Over the past decade, small spikes in gunfire deaths have been common, but experts say they are surprised by the number of officers this year who have been specifically targeted by gunmen.

“There’s an increasingly desperate population out there,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “Other than in rare cases for ideological reasons, we really haven’t seen people taking on the cops head-to-head. Something is amiss. It should be cause for grave concern.”

Contributing to this year’s spike are cases in which several officers were shot and killed in groups — the four officers last month outside Seattle; the four officers in Oakland, Calif., in March; three officers in Pittsburgh in April; and two officers in Okaloosa County, Fla., in April.

In the Nov. 29 shootings near Seattle, four Lakewood Police Department officers, all in uniform, were sitting with their laptops at a bustling coffee shop when shots rang out. Authorities said the gunman, Maurice Clemmons, spared employees and other customers. Clemmons was later shot to death in a confrontation with another officer, who wasn’t harmed.

Clemmons had a violent, erratic past in Washington state and Arkansas. His 108-year prison sentence for armed robbery and other offenses was commuted by then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2000. Six days before the shooting, he had posted bail on charges of raping a child.


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  • Mt_max50

    MountainSmoky

    over 4 years ago

    110 Comments

    IT APPEARS THAT NYC HAS THE SAME GUN PROBLEMS AS MY CITY. READ THE LATEST 12/13/09:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/12/13/2009-12-13_stra...

  • Mt_max50

    MountainSmoky

    over 4 years ago

    110 Comments

    More cops were shot and killed in the late 60's and early 70s than there are now a days. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Don't be blaming the gun blame our politicans. Instead of emptying our state prisons to help balance the budget, state politicans should be building more prisons to lock up criminals.

    Imagine the number of jobs more prisons would bring to a state. Now that's a two for one stimulus package. By keeping these criminals locked up you won't have incidents like Lakewood, WA - Oakland, CA -Pittsburgh, PA. I for one am still angry about the Lakewood incident. Those officers would still be alive if Gov Huckabee didn't release that murderer. I still can not understand how politicans can release these human monsters back into society. I no longer watch Gov Huckabee's show on Fox TV. If politicans are serious about protecting society from gun violence then do something about the interstate transportation of guns. Most of the guns in my city are coming from gun shows in NV. Laws needs to change regarding the interstate transportation of guns from one state to another and oversight on how they are being sold at gun shows.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Keep that gun holster ready and be ready for anything, by God we are going home at the end of the day, so what if i loose my job and get sued, at least i will be alive with my family.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50

    rhood

    over 4 years ago

    23592 Comments

    This is unacceptable in todays society !!!!! The laws need to changed to put the fear back into the criminal and deter them from these attacks on officers. May GOD bless all of these warrior HEROS who have given their all for the rest of society. To those who proudly wear the badge and to those who in the future will, train hard, stay observant, watch out for one another and be safe so that you can go home to your loved ones at the end of the shift.

  • Pub_fop_star_juo8_max50

    SLAWDAWG1

    over 4 years ago

    294 Comments

    MAY GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU. THE NEED TO PROTECT AND SERVE IS MORE THAN EVER. LOOK OUT FOR YOUR PARTENER AS WELL AS YOURSELF.

  • On_the_job_002_max50

    kaalima

    over 4 years ago

    1748 Comments

    There is an ever increasing need for us a Law Enforcement community to be as close as ever. We are the shield of protection in our communities and families. Please, watch each others backs and always remember at the end of the day, let it be us that go home to our loved ones. May God be with us all !! Take care.

  • 2010-10-03_17

    Migs

    over 4 years ago

    1276 Comments

    May God bless you all and your families. Watch over us while we remain on watch.

  • shadow_officer

    over 4 years ago

    8562 Comments

    RIP to all the wonderful officers and deputies, that have lost their lives fighting in Blue

  • Dnc_shirt_max50

    los008

    over 4 years ago

    480 Comments

    Be careful and watch your six!!!

  • Draped_badge_max50

    184retired

    over 4 years ago

    3806 Comments

    You know what the problem is, just like the war in Iraq and Afghanastan,,,we are fighting a politically correct war within this country...Your always looking over your shoulder wondering who is watching...And if you do this is it going to cost my career and that one second of doubt is when your dead...Not in all cases this year, there were just out and out set up assassinations on cops..There is nothing you can do in that case...Except now you have to change tactics..The war is on and it is inside the country now...Wait till the suicide bombers start their crap inside the states..Then what happens..What I see on the horizon for this country scares the hell out of me...The fact that you can't buy ammo unless you get real lucky says a lot....

  • Dsc03481_max50

    BrandonUSA2004

    over 4 years ago

    26 Comments

    This is so sad to read. Thank god no officers have been killed in Miami-Dade County this year. There have been more shootouts than I can remember. It seems like every week there's another one. May god be with the fallen Officer's families.

  • 74596_129289523905506_927477597_n_max50

    CadetAK

    over 4 years ago

    3428 Comments

    *rate, not rat

  • 74596_129289523905506_927477597_n_max50

    CadetAK

    over 4 years ago

    3428 Comments

    Let's hope it decreases next year....this is so sad to hear :(
    There are many factors of this...laws, gun laws, the economy, etc.
    Let's hope this rat doesn't continue to increase...RIP all fallen officers.

  • Mourning_badge_max160_1__max50

    rlague

    over 4 years ago

    1210 Comments

    I agree...it has been a very poor year for us.god rest your souls our brave fallen

  • Quickley-b240_max50

    bill9823

    over 4 years ago

    2106 Comments

    It is a sad state of affairs when the number of LEOs killed each year continues to go up, we need to take back the streets and beat them to it. All LEOs need to be at their very best every day of their lives. Live to go home at the end of your shifts my Brothers and Sisters, don't let them take you away from your families or the Brotherhood.

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