Gunfire as the cause of death is up 12% from previous years (2010 to 2018) with 51 cases of death by gunfire in 2018.
Stats for 2019
DATA from Officer Down Memorial Page and it updates daily as researchers update information: www.odmp.org
What began as a desire to give back, became a reality ……
It began with a phone call no Law Enforcement Family wants to receive, “It is with great sadness that we inform you that your loved one has been killed while on duty.” The words and circumstances may be different but the loss, the grief, the emptiness is the same.
From that moment life became a blur and I functioned mechanically not really focusing on what was going on around me. So many thoughts and emotions, how was I ever going to go on? Would I ever feel like living again? How will I deal with the emptiness? Even if you don’t want to think about it, you worry about finances, how are we going to pay bills.
From the moment we received the notification; calls, messages, visits and mail began to come in from all over the country. All of these were from persons we did not even know but all had a common thread, the “Thin Blue Line”. Support was from Law Enforcement Families, Officers, and Supporters of Law Enforcement all sending love, support, and prayers. All of this support definitely helped us through some awful times and provided some comfort and peace.
One evening weeks after Floyd’s memorial as I sat at home with family writing thank you notes, I shared with them that I wanted to give some of that love and support back to others who found themselves in our situation. My family supported my idea 100 percent and even offered to help. They too wanted to do something to honor Floyd and help others, so we began to research needs of Law Enforcement Officers and their families.
We found so much data and information that we had to decide on what we could realistically do. When an officer dies in the line of duty families experience a loss of income immediately. Pay due and insurances are not quickly paid and can even take months depending on the type of death. So, one of our goals was to help a surviving family with immediate one-time financial assistance.
The other area we felt passionate about was helping the Law Enforcement surviving coworker. Law Enforcement Officers experience a tremendous amount of stress in their jobs already and when they lose a coworker friend additional stress is added. Many do not access departmental resources for fear of being labeled so we all agreed that we wanted to help them by providing supportive events to help cope with the loss and stress associated with their jobs.
And we want to do all this by engaging our local law enforcement groups and our community so we can work together and bring about change in perceptions of Law Enforcement here at home and across the country.
New York City Police Department, New York
End of Watch Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Detective Brian Simonsen was shot and killed while responding to a robbery at a cell phone store at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and 120th Street in the Richmond Hill section of the city.
He and a second detective were in the area and responded to the store where they encountered a subject and attempted to apprehend him. As other officers responded to the scene both detectives, who were in plainclothes, were struck by friendly fire as the suspect pointed what was later determined to be a fake gun at responding officers.
Detective Simonsen succumbed to his wounds. The second detective was transported to a local hospital with critical injuries. The man who robbed the store was also shot and wounded.
Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin
End of Watch Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Police Officer Matthew Rittner was shot and killed as he executed a narcotics and firearms related search warrant at a home in the 2900 block of South 12th Street near West Dakota Street.
As the Tactical Enforcement Unit made entry into the home a suspect opened fire with a high-powered rifle, striking Officer Rittner in the chest.
Officer Rittner was transported to Froedtert Hospital where he died from his injuries.
The subject who shot him was taken into custody at the scene.
Officer Rittner was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the War on Terror. He had served with the Milwaukee Police Department for 17 years. He is survived by his wife and child.
Virginia State Police, Virginia
End of Watch Monday, February 4, 2019
Trooper Lucas Dowell was shot and killed as he and other members of the Virginia State Police's Tactical Team made entry into a home to secure it for a search warrant as part of a narcotics investigation.
The team was assisting members of the Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force serve the search warrant at a home in the 1500 block of Cumberland Road just outside the Farmville town limits in Cumberland County. The occupant inside opened fire on the officers inside of the home, fatally wounding Trooper Dowell. Two other members of the Tactical Team returned fire and killed the subject.
Trooper Dowell was transported to Southside Community Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
Trooper Dowell had served with the Virginia State Police for four years and was assigned to the Appomattox Division. He is survived by his parents and sister.
1 K9 down by gunfire shot while assisting in domestic violence call. Had been with PD 3 years and was narcotics dog also
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