Af­ter at­tacks, po­lice of­fi­cers ‘keenly aware’ they are tar­gets for vi­o­lence

China Daily (USA) - - WORLD - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Chicago

The shoot­ings of po­lice of­fi­cers in Texas andMis­souri on Sun­day were the lat­est in what law en­force­ment of­fi­cials say is an alarm­ing spike in am­bush-style at­tacks.

One-third of po­lice of­fi­cers shot to death on the job this year were pur­posely tar­geted by their as­sailant, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Law En­force­ment Of­fi­cers Memo­rial Fund.

The San An­to­nio de­tec­tive was writ­ing a traf­fic ticket in hissquad­caronSun­day­morn­ing out­side po­lice head­quar­ter­swhen­hewasshot to death. A St Louis po­lice sergeant who was shot twice in the face on Sun­day evening while he sat in traf­fic in a marked po­lice ve­hi­cle is ex­pected to sur­vive.

Po­lice of­fi­cers were also shot and in­jured dur­ing traf­fic stops in Sani­bel, Florida, and Glad­stone, Mis­souri, on Sun­day night, but au­thor­i­ties have not sug­gested those were tar­geted at­tacks.

“Of­fi­cers are at tremen­dous and grow­ing risk; they’re be­ing tar­geted be­cause of the uni­form they wearandthe job they do,” said Craig W. Floyd, pres­i­dent of theN­ational Law En­force­ment Of­fi­cers Memo­rial Fund.

San An­to­nio De­tec­tive Ben­jamin Mar­coni was the 60th of­fi­cer shot to death this year, com­pared to 41 in all of 2015, and the 20th to die in an am­bush-style at­tack, com­pared to eight last year, Floyd said.

This year’s tar­geted killings are the most since 1995, Floyd said. In fact, Mar­coni’s was the fourth tar­geted slay­ing of an of­fi­cer this month.

The worst sin­gle at­tack was in July, when a black mil­i­tary veteran killed five white of­fi­cers at a protest in Dal­las — the dead­li­est day for American law en­force­ment since Sept 11, 2001.

“It is un­usual, alarm­ing and a real prob­lem,” Floyd said, adding that 44 of­fi­cers have been killed in tar­geted at­tacks in the past three years.

De­part­ments around the coun­try are do­ing ev­ery­thing from pair­ing up of­fi­cers to in­stalling new tech­nol­ogy on cruis­ers.

Still, train­ing is the best weapon, Floyd said. Of­fi­cers are be­ing re­minded to prac­tice “sit­u­a­tional aware­ness,” to ex­pect the un­ex­pected and to “never take any as­sign­ment for granted,” he said.

“Ev­ery law en­force­ment of­fi­cer is now keenly aware of be­ing tar­geted,” he said.

ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Re­stored Volk­swa­gen cam­pers at the garage in Florence, Italy.

FRANK ELTAM / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The jacket on dis­play at the Kupfer­berg Holo­caust Cen­ter.

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