2021 is in the rear view mirror, thankfully. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, https://www.odmp.org, there were 484 Line of Duty Deaths, up from 385 in 2020. This reflects over a 25% increase. 61 were killed by gunfire compared to 45 last year, a 35% increase. 325 officers died due to complications from COVID. August and September were the deadliest months. There are likely many factors contributing to these increases.
Feckless politicians, pandering to a radical minority and backed by a dishonest media have created animosity towards law enforcement while, at the same time, “progressive” district and city attorneys have created a revolving door for criminals by refusing to prosecute statutes with which they disagree – this has emboldened criminals and led, at times, to complete lawlessness.
Homicide rates have risen dramatically across the country. There have been more than 675 mass shootings in which 4 or more people were killed or injured in the U.S. this past year. The “Defund the Police” fad that was embraced by “progressive” political puppets created rising crime rates and shorthanded police departments across the nation – a dangerous combination for those trying to protect their communities.
Our nation can do better. The “defund” movement is dying a natural death as residents and businesses are demanding greater law enforcement presence. Voters who sat on the sidelines during the anti-police rhetoric and poor political decision making are becoming impacted by the results and finally speaking up. Defunded departments are now offering bonuses to officers to attract new recruits or retain those they have.
The I.U.P.A. is working tirelessly to promote and move legislation that protects our members and provides greater funds for hiring, retention and training. We will continue to work to expose the media when they skew their reporting of incidents involving law enforcement. We will remain supportive of politicians who back and advocate for law enforcement and for legislation that offers protections and helps them do their jobs more safely.
In conclusion, we will continue to advocate for and defend our members and their families as they protect our great nation. We will speak with one voice and move with one purpose and pray for a better, safer 2022.