When Atchison, Ks., Police Sgt. David Enzbrenner was shot to death last week his homicide added to a grim year for law enforcement officers, says the Kansas City Star. Law enforcement fatalities in the line of duty are up 14 percent this year on top of a whopping 25 percent increase in 2010, says the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.
Perhaps most troubling is that firearms-related fatalities are likely to outpace traffic-related deaths for the first time in 13 years, Memorial Fund officials said. The figure is disturbing for industry law enforcement advocates given that December — one of the deadliest months for sworn officers — is far from over. While officials try to determine what triggered the spike some wonder if the economy and an anti-government sentiment have played a role. “There is dissatisfaction with government and a lot of it is being taken out on law enforcement,” said Harry Herington of the non-profit agency Ride4Cops. “Law enforcement are the troops at home. And right now they are being gunned down on our own streets and not because they're stopping somebody in the middle of a crime.” Another problem is that budget cuts mean some officers are being asked to do more with less, said Steve Groeninger of the Memorial Fund.