After attacks, police officers ‘keenly aware’ they are targets for violence
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.
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The jacket on display at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center.