National Police Week: What officers face in 2016


Police departments and citizens around the country are using this week to honor their local officers as part of National Police Week.

Established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, the event has grown to include thousands of visitors that head to Washington, D.C. to take part in programs that honor officers.

Being a police officer was the 14th most dangerous job in America from 2007-2013, Bloomberg says, with nearly 16 deaths for every 100,000 officers employed. They're also the second most likely to die from violence or homicide (behind taxi drivers).

Law enforcement officers around the country are also facing increased scrutiny over the past two years, after multiple high-profile killings of unarmed black men at the hands of officers. Here's a look at the current climate officers find themselves working in in 2016.

41 officers killed

The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year by someone involved in a criminal activity (described as "feloniously"), the FBI said Monday. That was down from 51 officers killed in 2014. That figure doesn't include the officers who died from health problems or another cause. The Officer Down Memorial Page says, including those, the number of deaths in the line of duty last year was 128.

More than 10,000

The number of officers serving in Minnesota law enforcement, according to the governor's office.

1 officer killed in Minnesota

Aitkin County Sheriff's Department investigator Steven Sandberg was the only human law enforcement officer killed in the state of Minnesota in 2015. He was one of the three officers the FBI says was killed by their own service weapon. The suspect in Sandberg's killing also died during the incident.

276 fallen officers

The number of Minnesota law enforcement officers who have died during the line of duty in the state's history, the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association says.

990 people

The number of people fatally shot by police in the U.S. last year, according to the Washington Post. Of those, 12 occurred in Minnesota. Eight of the victims were white, three black, and one "other." In nine cases the threat level was determined to be "attack in progress," and seven suspects were armed with a deadly weapon. There were signs of mental illness in five of the incidents. Three suspects were unarmed.

More than 40 cities

The number of American cities that saw a spike in violent crime in the first quarter of 2016, the New York Times reports. That prompted FBI Director James Comey to once again say he believed the "Ferguson Effect" was playing a role – that is, the idea that increase scrutiny of police actions following high-profile shootings, plus how easy it is to record and share video online, is making officers hesitant to go after suspected criminals.

52 percent

The percentage of Americans who said they have confidence in the police in a June 2015 Gallup poll. That ties the lowest figure since the poll started in 1993. It peaked 64 percent in 2004.


The difference in confidence whites have in police (57 percent) compared to blacks (30 percent), which are the highest and lowest percentages of the four ethnic groups Gallup polled.

Next Up

Union Gospel Mission graffiti side by side - Duluth PD

Vandals target longstanding Duluth soup kitchen, transitional housing site

Union Gospel Mission has been operating in the city since 1922.

i-94 crash st. michael - 2021.10.19

At least 1 dead after 'serious crash' on I-94 in St. Michael

That side of the highway is expected to be closed for at least a few hours.

House for sale

The crazy Twin Cities housing market is showing signs of slowing down

Agents are seeing fewer multiple offers and no inspections are less prevalent.

Ben Simmons

Simmons' reunion with 76ers lasts mere days, chance for Wolves?

Woj says the Sixers remain "steadfast" in their plans for Simmons.

mitchell ottinger

Sub teacher involved in 'sextortion' of more than 10 minors pleads guilty

Some of the minors he knew from the school district where he worked.

flickr ice castles new brighton 2020 - Greg Gjerdingen

The Ice Castles, a winter favorite, are coming back to the Twin Cities

The popular attraction was canceled last winter due to COVID.

joey meatballs

4 new vendors coming to Rosedale's POTLUCK food hall

Three restaurants and a VR company are opening soon.

flickr - Lorie Shaull - Line 3 pipeline Palisade July 2021

Enbridge misses deadline to fix its groundwater blunder

The company had 30 days to stop the leak it caused by not following its submitted plans.

wikimedia commons - the beach boys 2019 - joergens.mi

Beach Boys bringing 2021 holiday tour to Minnesota

The iconic band's "Holiday Harmonies" tour stops at Treasure Island just before the new year.

pixabay - us supreme court

MN, WI attorneys general push SCOTUS to block to Texas abortion law

They say the law is in "direct contravention of nearly a half century of binding precedent."