Police officer killings have increased so far in 2018

A total of 12 police officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty this year so far, an increase over the same period last year.

The most recent deaths include two Westerville, Ohio, officers who were shot and killed as they responded to a domestic disturbance call at a familiar address, and a Chicago police officer.

“I hope it heightens the alert of everyone to pay attention more of your surroundings,” Dayton Fraternal Order of Police president Rick Oakley, a detective with Dayton police, told an American media outlet.

“I put it out to my guys all the time. If you’re not on something and you hear your brother or sister out there on a traffic call, go back them up. If you’re not doing anything, just go there and sit and make sure that there’s an extra set of eyes to make sure nothing’s going on.” [source]

Analysis: This could just be a temporary — albeit unfortunate — blip on the radar, and we certainly hope that is the case, though the loss of even a single officer is never something we find acceptable. But if it’s not, it could have long-term negative implications for the civil society: Recruiting for officer positions will be impacted, which will mean fewer officers on the streets; officers may be less willing to engage in risk on certain calls; officers may be required to respond in pairs, which will delay responses in some case; and more restrictive ordinances including gun control — which would actually put law-abiding citizens at risk — could be considered and passed, especially given the current political environment surrounding the epidemic of school shootings, among other things. 

Our society has changed over the past five or so decades, and not for the better. The new normal is more violence, and unless/until citizens and their representatives come together to suppress divisions and find solutions, things will only get worse.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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