What's more dangerous than being a cop?

Everything.

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By the Numbers: How Dangerous Is It to Be a Cop?

AUGUST 19, 2014 by DANIEL J. BIER

Defenders of police militarization such as that on display in Ferguson, Missouri, often claim that it’s necessary to provide military gear to cops, given how dangerous law enforcement has become.

Indeed, in the name of the War on Terror and theWar on Drugs, the federal government has provided thousands of pieces of military-grade body armor, mine-resistant armored personnel carriers, assault rifles, grenade launchers, helicopters, and night-vision goggles to local police and sheriffs. Almost every county in America has received equipment from these programs.

But has policing really become so dangerous that we need to arm peace officers like an invading army? The answer is no. It's never been safer to be a cop.

To start with, few police officers die in the line of duty. Since 1900, only 18,781 police officers have died from any work-related injury. That's an average of 164 a year. In absolute terms, officer fatalities peaked in 1930 (during alcohol prohibition) at 297, spiking again in the 1970s before steadily declining since.

If you look at police fatalities adjusted for the U.S. population, the decline is even starker. 2013 was the safest year for American policing since 1875.

In 2013, out of 900,000 sworn officers, just 100 died from a job-related injury. That's about 11.1 per 100,000, or a rate of 0.01%.

Policing doesn't even make it into the top 10 most dangerous American professions. Logging has a fatality rate 11 times higher, at 127.8 per 100,000. Fishing: 117 per 100,000. Pilot/flight engineer: 53.4 per 100,000. It's twice as dangerous to be a truck driver as a cop—at 22.1 per 100,000.

Another point to bear in mind is that not all officer fatalities are homicides. Out of the 100 deaths in 2013, 31 were shot, 11 were struck by a vehicle, 2 were stabbed, and 1 died in a "bomb-related incident." Other causes of death were: aircraft accident (1), automobile accident (28), motorcycle accident (4), falling (6), drowning (2), electrocution (1), and job-related illness (13).

Even assuming that half these deaths were homicides, policing would have a murder rate of 5.55 per 100,000, comparable to the average murder rate of U.S. cities: 5.6 per 100,000. It's more dangerous to live in Baltimore (35.01 murders per 100,000 residents) than to be a cop in 2014.

This is not to say that police officers do not have a difficult job. They certainly do. They’re required to have daily contact with drunks, the mentally disabled, and criminal suspects. Arrests can often lead to physical confrontation, assault, and sometimes injury. Police are constantly dragged into families' and neighbors' petty squabbles. It can be a stressful and sometimes thankless task.

But it just isn't unusually deadly or dangerous—and it’s safer today than ever before. The data do not justify the kinds of armor, weapons, insecurity, and paranoia being displayed by police across the country. Short of an outbreak of land-mine-related crimes in America's heartland, there's no reason to deploy mine-resistant vehicles and .50 caliber machine guns to rural sheriffs departments.

Instead of hiding behind gas masks, how about putting cops back on the beat and talking to the community? Instead of M16s and grenade launchers, how about dashboard and body cameras, which have been shown to reduce excessive force and improve officer safety? I bet Mike Brown's family wishes St. Louis County had considered that, rather than being dazzled by shiny new toys from the Pentagon.

Update: My estimate for the rate of police murders was probably too high. I assumed for the sake of argument that half of the 100 police fatalities in 2013 were murders, because the FBI hasn't released numbers yet for how many were felony killings. But the average from 2003-2012 shows that felony killings accounted for only a third (34%) of all officers fatalities. That would make the murder rate for police in 2013 something closer to 3.77 per 100,000, well below the national average.

'I bet Mike Brown's family wishes St. Louis County had considered that'

Consider raising your son to be a decent human being instead of a piece of shit thief. Consider a swan dive into some fresh pavement. Phone Post 3.0

Where are the dots on there for "canadian LP manager?"

I was with the author up until that line too.

But overarmed cops dont justify a lack of personal responsibility. If you choose to be a criminal, you run the risk of getting shot. Phone Post 3.0

B17 -
Altofsky - 'I bet Mike Brown's family wishes St. Louis County had considered that'

Consider raising your son to be a decent human being instead of a piece of shit thief. Consider a swan dive into some fresh pavement. Phone Post 3.0


I like your style

I like your genitals. Phone Post 3.0

Altofsky - 
B17 -
Altofsky - 'I bet Mike Brown's family wishes St. Louis County had considered that'

Consider raising your son to be a decent human being instead of a piece of shit thief. Consider a swan dive into some fresh pavement. Phone Post 3.0


I like your style

I like your genitals. Phone Post 3.0

I like your turtles.

Altofsky - '
Consider raising your son to be a decent human being instead of a piece of shit cop. Phone Post 3.0

Fixed, and agreed.

Altofsky - 'I bet Mike Brown's family wishes St. Louis County had considered that'

Consider raising your son to be a decent human being instead of a piece of shit thief. Consider a swan dive into some fresh pavement. Phone Post 3.0

I agree with you on that.

Altofsky - 'I bet Mike Brown's family wishes St. Louis County had considered that'

Consider raising your son to be a decent human being instead of a piece of shit thief. Consider a swan dive into some fresh pavement. Phone Post 3.0
VU Phone Post 3.0

I've seen enough AK's in my neighborhood to justify the AR-15s carried by police. It isn't appealing to go up against high powered rifles with a 40 caliber handgun.

The big vehicles are used by units such as SWAT for active shooters, barricaded subjects, etc. I believe there is a place for them too. If you want to argue them being used in Ferguson, that's cool, I can understand that. But I still think they are just fine. There is a place for them in law enforcement imo.

Im not a cop but fock that article. I dont even know where to start addressing the crap contained in it.

When it says things like only x amount of cops killed.

Only??? F u Phone Post 3.0

And lol that EVERYTHING is more dangerous than bein a cop.

Nice troll job Phone Post 3.0

cadeswallows - Im not a cop but fock that article. I dont even know where to start addressing the crap contained in it.

When it says things like only x amount of cops killed.

Only??? F u Phone Post 3.0
I think you're missing the point friend. The author is saying that the actual incident of violent death for police officers doesn't justify the increased use of force, increased militarization, and overbearing pixies regarding treatment of civilians that is stating to become a national trend.


So yeah, I wish my job description was as safe a 11 deaths per hundred thousand.

Unless you are one of those 'Even one is too many' sort of dudes, in which case you are destined for a life of disappointment. Phone Post 3.0

Oh and pixies= policies on an iPhone Phone Post 3.0

scourge - I've seen enough AK's in my neighborhood to justify the AR-15s carried by police. It isn't appealing to go up against high powered rifles with a 40 caliber handgun.

The big vehicles are used by units such as SWAT for active shooters, barricaded subjects, etc. I believe there is a place for them too. If you want to argue them being used in Ferguson, that's cool, I can understand that. But I still think they are just fine. There is a place for them in law enforcement imo.
This Phone Post 3.0

cadeswallows - Im not a cop but fock that article. I dont even know where to start addressing the crap contained in it.

When it says things like only x amount of cops killed.

Only??? F u Phone Post 3.0
Probably because you cannot come up with a solid, cohesive rebuttal. Phone Post 3.0

Ziiiiingggg

U got me:) Phone Post 3.0

So if a cop doesn't get killed, he wasn't in danger? Is that the argument?

How many loggers get guns pointed at them at work but don't get killed?

Correctional Officer. /Thread Phone Post 3.0

Being black in ferguson...
























:) Phone Post 3.0