After at least 11 police shootings in the past few days, some law enforcement officials fear that there may be a war on cops taking place.
The officer-involved shootings include incidents in Indiana and Oregon, a shoot-out in a Washington state Wal-Mart that injured two deputies, and a Detroit police station shooting that injured four officers on Sunday. As well as a Monday morning standoff that left two officers dead and a U.S. Marshal wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The slaying of two detectives in Miami last Thursday further stoked the flames of the “war on cops” theory.
So far, 14 officers have been killed in the line of duty this year, which mirrors the number of officers killed in January 2010. If the trend continues, officials worry police officer deaths will meet or exceed the 2010 total of 162 officers killed.
According to some, the spate of officer shootings is not coincidental. “It’s not a fluke,” said Richard Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations. “There’s a perception among officers in the field that there’s a war on cops going on.
While some claim that criminals just are not afraid of cops anymore, others worry that budget cuts are to blame. With many police departments feeling the pinch of tightening budgets, many forces are understaffed and over-extended, leaving officers vulnerable to attacks.
“One of the things we fear is that budget cuts are leading to fewer officers on shifts, officers working longer shifts and reduced training budgets. All these things add up, and they can’t have a positive effect,” Steve Groeninger, a spokesperson for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, said.
So are police officers under attack? While there is no way to be certain, the recent rash of violence against cops serves as a stark reminder to officers to always stay on their toes.