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Article posted Apr 10 2013, 3:14 AM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: Radley Balko Print

Why We Need To Stop Exaggerating The Threat To Cops

By Radley Balko

The recent killings of two prosecutors in Texas, a Colorado Department of Corrections official and a sheriff in West Virginia have law enforcement groups and the media once again buzzing about an alleged "war on cops" or, in some instances, a broader trend toward violent anti-government sentiment. Over at The Atlantic, Philip Bump does a good job debunking that idea. (He also quotes me.)

Unfortunately, thorough and skeptical analyses of police fatality statistics like Bump's are rare. The "war on cops" talk heats up every time that one or more high-profile police killings hit the news. But there's just no evidence that it's true.

I've pointed out a number of times that the job of police officer has been getting progressively safer for a generation. Last year was the safest year for cops since the early 1960s. And it isn't just because the police are carrying bigger guns or have better armor. Assaults on police officers have been dropping over the same period. Which means that not only are fewer cops getting killed on the job, people in general are less inclined to try to hurt them. Yes, working as a police officer is still more dangerous than, say, working as a journalist. (Or at least a journalist here in the U.S.) But a cop today is about as likely to be murdered on the job as someone who merely resides in about half of the country's 75 largest cities.

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Comments 1 - 3 of 3 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Apr 10 2013, 9:44 AM

687 they declared war on the U.S. public and like any country,we now have war within.

Posted: Apr 10 2013, 9:05 PM

173242 If I was driving around in a car with a handgun, shotgun, stun gun, nightstick, pepper spray, a bulletproof vest, and maybe even a big dog in the back, I'd feel pretty safe.

Posted: Apr 13 2013, 8:30 AM

74196 Maybe if they would stop using a whole swat team to invade peoples houses over drugs that people are only using on themselves. Then people might stop hating them so much.

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