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Local law enforcement responds to recent police violence

This week’s shooting of a Missouri police officer is just the latest violence targeting law enforcement, something that surged in 2014.

Joshua Hagood, 32, made his first court appearance Thursday after reportedly shooting a Springfield police officer in the head while he was checking into suspicious activity Monday night. The chief of the Springfield police department said the officer now has career-ending injuries.

On Thursday, ABC 17 News spoke with a few different members of law enforcement about the new trend. One of them is a current police officer who said that the violence will affect recruiting new officers.

The other is a former officer for Columbia police who is now the director of an organization that helps the families of police officers who have been killed.

“We’re becoming more of a target in a lot of ways, which, is a very unfortunate situation, but we have to address it constantly,” said Captain Doug Shoemaker.

Doug Shoemaker said things between police and civilians have been much more tense since the Ferguson incident.

Shoemaker also said the recent violent attacks against police change officers mindset every time they put on their uniform.

“Daily. Absolutely, on and off duty. We’re always watching things and paying more attention. It’s just the nature of what we do right now.”

Diane Bernhard is a former Columbia Police officer and is now the director of C.O.P.S., which stands for, Concerns of Police Survivors.

“You know what’s been really disturbing over the past year is we were on a downward trend until last year of assaults and officers being killed in the line of duty,” said Bernhard.

“I think sometimes people see officers as being just the uniform. They are dads and moms and a child of a parent,” said Bernhard.

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