For Cops, the Most Deadly Peril Might Be Their Own Driving

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Writing for PoliceOne.com, commentator Doug Wyllie addresses a deadly danger for law enforcement officers that is often ignored: patrol car crashes. Two officers died this week in single-vehicle patrol car crashes, on Monday in Alabama and Tuesday in Wisconsin. In both cases, the patrol vehicles left the roadway and struck a tree. Of 10 fatal crashes involving law enforcers so far this year, seven were single-vehicle collisions. Wyllie writes, “This madness must end.”

He urges police agencies to require training in the Below 100 program, which recommends that officers always wear a seatbelt and mind their speed, among other things. He said police should always consider whether a call deserves “code three” treatment. “Running with lights and sirens not only increases the adrenaline of the officer, but it makes other drivers around him or her do some really whacky and unpredictable things,” Wyllie writes. He said that while firearm assaults on officers get most of the attention for on-duty peril, “the automobile remains a deadly adversary — and is perhaps the most dangerous cops face on a daily basis.”

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