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Police deaths drastically increase in 2014

Nationwide, the number of police deaths has drastically increased over the last year, a reason why local agencies are doing what they can to help officers from becoming a statistic.

“Well, after a trooper goes through the academy they continue to train throughout the years. Every year we have training that maybe involves maybe driving safety, safety on firearms, safety in intense situations, intruder training, things like that. All of these things come together to help us stay ready in case there is an incident that happens in front of us,” said Sergeant Paul Reinsch with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Sergeant Reinsch said troopers are constantly training.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 50 officers across the nation were killed by guns in 2014.

Fifteen of those were ambush deaths. In total, 126 officers were killed, including federal, state, local and territorial officers. The number of officers killed by firearms has increased 56% in just one year.

“I think most of us in this career and maybe those of us who are just starting this career, a number of new officers haven’t had to experience it. Most likely throughout their career they’ll experience something where they are either threatened with death or the threat of death or they’ll actually face it,” said Captain Doug Shoemaker with the Jefferson City Police Department.

Shoemaker said constantly training police is something that prevents them from getting injured and keeps those involved in crime-related incidents safe.

“In the state of Missouri we have mandatory in-service requirements so every three years every officer in this state must complete 48 hours of in service training, half of which has to be done by the training police officers post which is housed at the Department of Public Safety. Those are typically our approved provider trainings, through an academy, through a police chief’s association, through a sheriff’s association, something of that nature,” said Shoemaker.

Even when the temperatures drop, troopers are outside training preparing themselves for whatever comes their way.

“Obviously things happen whether it’s spring, summer, winter, whether it’s cold, raining or whatever the situation is, we are out there at all times. Our troopers are out there training today with firearms, even though it’s extremely cold but they are called on those situations and they have to be prepared for anything,” said Sgt. Reinsch.

Out of the total number nationwide, 49 of those were traffic related fatalities.

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