Thursday, February 12, 2015

Historic Stretch in Law Enforcement Safety

As of Thursday, February 12, 2015, forty-seven days have passed since the last law enforcement officer in the United States was killed in the line of duty by felonious gunfire.

This ties the longest previous stretch of forty-seven days.  

That stretch, however, occurred in 1896.

This is the first time in nearly 120 years that so many days have passed between line of duty deaths due to gunfire at the hands of an offender.  The entire twentieth century passed without reaching this mark.

To call this an important stretch in law enforcement history, then, is an understatement.  And with each day that passes, a new standard is set for law enforcement officer safety.

Travis Yates, Founder and Director of Training for SAFETAC and full-time police officer with the Tulsa Police Department, makes this important point: “After 47 days with no gunfire deaths, now is not the time to 'wait for it to happen'.  Rather, we should take this opportunity to analyze what we have done to make history and what we can do to ensure that it does not take another 119 years to repeat it."

The Officer Down Memorial Page tracks law enforcement death statistics and historical trends in the hopes that analysis of that information will bring about a better understanding of how to keep officers safe and prevent more Line of Duty Deaths.  We are grateful to have the privilege of making this historic announcement.