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.

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