Just How Dangerous Is Police Work?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

The news wires buzzed yesterday with stories about an uptick in police fatalities last year. Most stories followed that lead with language about the dangers of police work. I won’t deny that police work is more dangerous than your average profession (it’s certainly more dangerous than journalism). I also don’t mean to belittle those cops who were killed in the line of duty. Nor will I argue with the fact that there are times when police officers really do put their lives on the line, and that those who do deserve our admiration and gratitude.

But it’s also important to get some perspective, here. Browse online police forums, and you’ll see cops defending all sorts of bad acts by other cops with lines like, “I’ll do whatever we have to do to make it home at night.” Letting statistics like those released yesterday go unchallenged with only the varnish applied by various professional police organizations exaggerates the real threat to police officers, and leads to the troubling trend toward militarization we’ve seen over the last 25 years. It also allows for police groups and advocates to dismiss aggressive behavior, excuse improper police shootings, and justify all of those taser videos we’ve seen over the last couple of years. We should do what we can to diminish the threat to police officers, but not at the expense of the rights and safety of everyone else. Striking the right balance requires a proper assessment of just what sorts of risks police officers actually face.

So just how dangerous is police work? Generally, police are about three times as likely to be killed on the job as the average American. It isn’t among the top ten most dangerous professions, falling well behind logging, fishing, driving a cab, trash collecting, farming, and truck driving. Moreover, about half of police killed on the job are killed in traffic accidents, and most of those are not while in pursuit of a criminal or rushing to the scene of a crime. I don’t point this out to diminish the tragedy of those cops killed in routine traffic accidents. My point is that the number of annual on-the-job police fatalities doesn’t justify giving cops bigger guns, military equipment, and allowing them to use more aggressive and increasingly militaristic tactics. A military-issue weapon isn’t going to prevent traffic accidents. In this context, then, it makes sense to remove from consideration deaths not directly attributable to the bad guys.

So take out traffic accidents and other non-violent deaths, and you’re left with 69 officers killed on the job by criminals last year. That’s out of about 850,000 officers nationwide. That breaks down to about 8 deaths per 100,000 officers, or less than twice the national average of on-the-job fatalities.

Now I suppose you could argue that on-the-job police fatalities are low because of the very things I’m arguing against—aggressive tactics, bigger guns and armor, military equipment, etc. But I’m not sure that’s backed by the numbers. On-the-job police fatalities peaked in 1974, at the height of Nixon’s war on drugs. They declined throughout the 1970s under Carter’s less aggressive drug war, then leveled off in the 1980s under Reagan. The next big drop came in the 1990s, coinciding with a dramatic overall drop in violent crime nationwide. Probably not coincidentally, the slight increase in police fatalities in 2007 also came during a year that saw a slight uptick in violent crime in general.

Twice the national average means police work certainly carries added risk. But is it the kind of risk that justifies, for example, a more than 1,000 percent increase in the use of SWAT teams over the last 25 years? Does it justify the fact that our cops that once looked like this now look like this? Your call, I guess.

Of course, if policymakers were really serious about protecting police officers, there’s one thing they could do that would have a dramatic, immediate impact on officer safety: They could end the drug war.

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45 Responses to “Just How Dangerous Is Police Work?”

  1. #1 |  Nando | 

    According to the BLS, the police doesn’t even make it into the top 10 most dangerous jobs. Police expect us to thank them for putting their lives on the line every day but then they ignore the fisherman who risks his life every day so that he can eat his popcorn shrimp (142 deaths per 100,000), or the pilot who flies him to see his family (88 deaths per 100,000), or the garbage man who cleans up the mess he leaves in front of his house every couple of days (42 deaths per 100,000), and even the drivers who stock his local donut shop so he can have his bear claw every morning (27 deaths per 100,000).

    HREF=”http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/07/pf/2006_most_dangerous_jobs/index.htm”HREF=”http://customersupport.networksolutions.com”> Most Dangerous Jobs

  2. #2 |  Nando | 

    Sorry, somehow that didn’t work. Here’s the link:

    http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/07/pf/2006_most_dangerous_jobs/index.htm

  3. #3 |  SJE | 

    Radley: I had the same thoughts when the article came out.
    Do you know how many deaths occurred in raids, and a break down by raids of different sorts? How many occured in no-knock, violent entry raids? Also, how many police deaths in mistaken address raids where the home owner shot back?

  4. #4 |  Lee | 

    How long until we get the police troll with “OMG you hate the police” or the always noxious, “See how much help you get the next time you need the police.”?

  5. #5 |  George | 

    Of course the answer to “See how much help you get the next time you need the police.” is “About as much help as I ever do — none.”

    Radley, thanks for addressing this. A few years ago I checked BLS stats and saw that, without 9/11, about 150 cops died annually and a third were not accidents, and the population had been fairly steady at 660,000. So previously each year 50 out of 660,000 died because of crime. Now it’s up to 69 of 850,000. Not exactly like fighting in Iraq. Or, as you point out, commercial fishing.

  6. #6 |  Sydney Carton | 

    I’ve read about the cop forums where they brag about their tough tactics, but does anyone have a link to some of them where I can read them for myself?

  7. #7 |  TC | 

    GAWD son, you know better than to cast aspersions upon the heroes in blue/black armor don’t you?

    Why you will be castigated, or worse! They will mark your caller ID as a “do not respond” sort of item. :)

    Thanks for the comments, they have been needed since 911 when it seems that if you could hold a hose or a night stick your pedestal was well in place. (I’m sure that I will get put on the same list for that).

    Loved the images as well, they are VERY telling!

    Remember this guy? http://www.indexstock.com/store/Chubby.asp?ImageNumber=376353

    They too are a dying breed as they more and more resemble the second pic.

  8. #8 |  Nick T | 

    Excellent analysis.

    It’s so typical of the media to not even look at these numbers with any sort of thoroughness, detail or nuance. It’s like almost every issue except even worse because to do so you are “disrespeting the brave men and women in blue.”

    Yet somehow on some of those cop boards people talk about how our society is so quick to criticize cops. Whaa?

  9. #9 |  Jay | 

    I wonder how many of the shooting deaths were caused (accidentally) by a fellow officer?

  10. #10 |  Heartless Libertarian | 

    Domestic violence and traffic stops were the circumstances that most commonly led to fatal police shootings this year, the report found.

    Last I checked, SWAT teams aren’t used in either of those cases. But, as blogger/curmudgeon/gun nut Kim du Toit of The Other Side of Kim du Toit (link: http://www.theothersideofkim.com/index.php/tos/single/11325/) putting two cops in every squad car would greatly reduce the risk in such situations, especially traffic stops. A bad guy with a cop outside both car windows is much less likely to try to shoot his way out than if there’s just one.

    Of course, overall deaths might go up, because there’d be more cops in the cars when they crash.

    And you could get at least some of the extra manpower by disbanding most of the SWAT teams.

  11. #11 |  Joel Rosenberg | 

    Good analysis, of course.

    The trouble is that while the stupid effects of the War on Some Drugs are pretty much always local, the decision to continue it is made at the national level. I’m probably as much against the WoSD as the next guy, but I’m not in favor of my local PD deciding to be conscientious objectors from it, as we already import enough gangbangers from outside Minneapolis as it is.

    That said, ending the promiscuous use of paramilitary tactics and “no knock” warrants is something that could be done locally, while still wasting enough time and effort on the drug war hereabouts to encourage those involved in it to take their business across the river to St. Paul.

    “Twice the national average,” though, in this context means “very low”, given what police work is properly compared with. (It’s hardly surprising that it’s more physically risky than, say, web design, life insurance sales, and/or dermatology, after all.)

  12. #12 |  Steam McQueen | 

    (it’s certainly more dangerous than journalism).

    Unless you’re in Russia.

  13. #13 |  Persona non grata | 

    A prettier picture of posers I have never seen.

  14. #14 |  Marty | 

    Lee, When on this site do you ever see “OMG You hate the cops”? I never see that here.

    I would point out that cops inlike like otehr professions gop towards danger while other s do there best to avoid it and run the other way. Like firemen who run into fires while others run out.

    What makes the news is not the guenuine herioic actions of cops everyday. I see it. Many here don’t care to hear it not because their hatred of cops but because of their ideology.

  15. #15 |  Marty | 

    I noticed too that firemen were not on the top ten according to that list. I wonder why it does not bother anybody, how people go on and on, about those brave firmen and how dangerous their job is. Some even work for evil local governments.

    Statistics are good but when I point out that based on the number of car stops, search warrants etc. that the number of actual “bad cop” or “bad action” is a small percentage. I have people here, call me names and say that even one is too much.

    There are more heroics everyday than bad apples but until we give fellowships at think tanks to guys to research them, it is hard to show the many examples. Plus good cops are no fun on youtube.

  16. #16 |  MikeT | 

    Marty,

    What upsets most people here is that the law provides special protection for the police when they break the law. Why can’t I point a handgun at a cop that I see beating a handcuffed person, without any fear of prosecution? Why is it that the system attacks sleepy, terrified home owners who shoot the cops in a raid on an innocent family’s home in the dead of the night?

    The fact is, the system does not treat the police like regular citizens. I am not a lawyer, but I’d hazard to guess that servicemen would be doing time in the brig for half of the stuff that cops get away with, even if it was done in the heat of battle. Unless there were extraordinary circumstances, if an army unit broke into the wrong house in an occupied territory in the dead of night and shot up the place, there’d be hell to pay in the morning when the JAGs wake up.

  17. #17 |  Trish | 

    Excellent post. This phenomenon is all part of the propaganda to keep us all in line like good little machines. Never question authority, the police are only here hold back the inevitable chaos, death and destruction that lurks around every corner. And I see a lot of parallels with our attitudes to our military.

  18. #18 |  The Dread Pirate No-Beard | 

    A prediction: A movement will arise wherein people willingly monitor their own behavior while in public places and use the audiovisual recordings to make sure their civil liberties are not trampled upon by persons in positions of power. I call this Personal Monitoring. Videos of police misusing their authority will be commonplace on sites like YouTube. The days of your word versus the officer’s word will end. Some police officers and unions will oppose the movement at first, but the smart ones will realize that this is an efficient way to identify and remove the very people who give their profession a bad name.

    There is anecdotal evidence of this already happening, though mostly by chance, not design. Someone thinks to press record on an MP3 player when questioned by an officer and catches the officer threatening to perjure himself in order to hurt the individual, or onlookers record officers beating someone who has already been restrained, etc. The evidence isn’t always convincing, and sometimes the officers get off without punishment, but I think we’ll reach a tipping point as a) society becomes more comfortable with being recorded in public places (look at the UK!), b) audio and visual resolution and quality improve, and c) consumer appliances for Personal Monitoring hit the market and/or are incorporated into vehicles by automakers as an additional safety feature. It’d be nice to have the bandwidth and battery power to constantly transmit data from a Personal Monitoring device to a networked storage device to prevent recordings from being destroyed by ne’er-do-wells, but we’ll get there someday.

    If I weren’t so lazy and content with my life I’d pursue the creation of Personal Monitoring devices, start Web sites designed to host videos of bad cops, even work on the integration of Personal Monitoring equipment in automobiles. Hmm, how about an OnStar-like service to conference in legal representation during traffic stops?

    Just my two cents. :)

  19. #19 |  Billy Beck | 

    “Lee, When on this site do you ever see ‘OMG You hate the cops’? I never see that here.”

    Well, we didn’t have to wait longer than the last sentence of your comment.

  20. #20 |  Marty | 

    MikeT,

    I was not in the military so, I am not sure what the internal punishment system is like.

    MikeT have you ever seen a cop beating a handcuffed person?

    My problem with that is not the self defense issue or your defense of others it is that I have been part of investigations of force and others things where I have been named by a complainant to have used forced. In one case I was off from work and there is no way I could have been near the “victim” whe asked why he lied the “victim” told investigators he had my name form another incident and was mad at other rude cops so made a charge against me to get back.

    I know here that ideoloy would not cause false accuasations against cops. Most here are always just minding there business when the police get them. On the other hand there are some areas that this could cause a bit of chaos. I can’t speak for all areas of this country but for large cities.

    Happy New Year

  21. #21 |  Marty | 

    MIkeT,

    BTW… I don’t have the right balance figured out at this point which is why I come here.

    I believe in an ordered liberty. As a cop I am trying to work out how we can have the respect for cops authority and also strong community oversight.

  22. #22 |  Marty | 

    Billy I said it’s NOT because of their hatred of cops.

  23. #23 |  The Accountant | 

    There is a difference between on-the-job dangers like falling off a shrimping boat–a risk for which one is well compensated–and people who take on the risk of being deliberately murdered by enemies of civilization, people we call criminals, in order to protect the rest of us. It’s true, there’s other dangers. It’s true some cops are cowards, but cops on the whole are the ones running towards the gunshots and the scary people and the “armed and dangerous” suspects while the rest of society is running away, sometimes trampling over women and children to get away. There is something nihilistic about making no distinction of man-on-man violence and accidents.

  24. #24 |  Billy Beck | 

    “Billy I said it’s NOT because of their hatred of cops.”

    “…but because of their ideology.”

    What, exactly, is the difference to you?

  25. #25 |  Marty | 

    Billy you may not hate cops on the one hand but do not care to see why they do something or act a certain way because of your ideology. That’s all.

    I don’t see why you are confused about my statement.

  26. #26 |  Billy Beck | 

    Your ideology is why you don’t see.

    See?

  27. #27 |  Brad | 

    According to those numbers, I calculate the average adult white male has about the same chance of being murdered as that of a policeman at work.

    If policework is so dangerous that every policeman is allowed to carry a loaded gun, why not the average adult man too?

  28. #28 |  SJE | 

    Marty: I, for one, appreciate having your perspective.

  29. #29 |  Josh | 

    It’s an interesting perspective you have on the dangers of the law enforcement community, but I think the stats are skewed because of other factors. After just recently becoming a law enforcement officer I realize now how much training, time, energy and commitment police officers are to safety. Most police officers nitpick on every little safety issue/improvement that can be done. It’s almost a sick culture of making every little thing safer. Not many other jobs do I see people worried about what direction to spin the tires on when you’re on a highway, approaching a car, looking at everything, and analyzing every possibility.
    While I agree there is abuse out there, (none should be tolerated) it’s often over hyped or replayed so many times that people start believing it’s every cop out there. I do not have sympathy for these ‘abuses’ if people are challenging the police’s authority. They have no right to actively resist (note: not passively resist), and deserve anything that happens to them when they do.
    Unfortunately there is no “pretty” or “humane” way to stop violent or uncooperative people out there, I think society has this idea that there is. There are no magical karate moves. They pretty much give us a few options voice, hands, OC, stick, taser, gun…and you only have a few seconds to deploy them. Stop believing that the OC/Taser is the magical solution, it only is good if you have the time/space/safety to deploy them.
    It’s frustrating the views of society when they want a gentle/nice/civilized police force. Worrying about that shotgun being in the front seat because it scares the community. I hate to break it to you, when s&*t hits the fan…no one else is coming to save you…it’s your local police. 9/11, columbine, mall shootings should be showing you that there is no federal police or army is coming to save you, it’s your local police/fire/ems. When the bad guy has big guns, my little one doesn’t work so good…and my vest is useless.
    I should also inform you interestingly the only reason I even came across this blog was looking for stats on police and New Years (trying to see if it is the most dangerous day to work). It’s my first time working out there alone. Every new years where I work there seems to be many calls for “shots fired”, and many people shot, and generally many other dangerous calls.
    Anyways…
    I encourage you to take advantage of a ride along if it’s available in your community.
    may or may not change your perspective, but if it’s a decent sized city…you’ll probably have an experience of a lifetime in just one night.

  30. #30 |  Frank | 

    “Also, how many police deaths in mistaken address raids where the home owner shot back?”

    Not as many as there should be, unfortunately. If there were, they’d be more careful about such things.

    Far as I’m concerned, no-knock raids should be illegal except in a hostage situation where there is a clear threat to life. There is no other justification.

  31. #31 |  Frank | 

    “I hate to break it to you, when s&*t hits the fan…no one else is coming to save you…”

    No one is coming. Full stop. We as citizens are responsible for our own defense, because no one else will ever get there in time. And police are not legally required to defend us in any event — that is a matter of law and precedent. Don’t believe me? Look at the case where a man killed his three kids, then himself, while the mother pleaded with the cops and got the finger from them. The lawsuit was dismissed about a month ago.

    Police are properly named, in the military definition of the word. All they do is “police the area” after you’re dead, and are arrogant about it while doing so. “Protect and Serve” is an empty phrase created by a PR firm, with no legal standing whatsoever.

  32. #32 |  Frank | 

    “There is a difference between on-the-job dangers like falling off a shrimping boat–a risk for which one is well compensated–and people who take on the risk of being deliberately murdered by enemies of civilization, people we call criminals, in order to protect the rest of us.”

    The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

    -Sir Robert Peel, Founder of the Metropolitan Police (London)

  33. #33 |  Frank | 

    “A prediction: A movement will arise wherein people willingly monitor their own behavior while in public places and use the audiovisual recordings to make sure their civil liberties are not trampled upon by persons in positions of power. I call this Personal Monitoring.”

    Already happening, and the two cases I know of that resulted in cops getting bent over as they deserved were mentioned on this site. The ape-shit cop in St George, MO, and the NYPD detective under arrest for six counts of perjury, both the result of personal recording devices.

    Of course, now that the police are properly warned, Terry searches will ensure that such equipment is “accidentally” damaged into a non-functioning state.

  34. #34 |  Frank | 

    “It’d be nice to have the bandwidth and battery power to constantly transmit data from a Personal Monitoring device to a networked storage device to prevent recordings from being destroyed by ne’er-do-wells, but we’ll get there someday.”

    I believe Verizon and Sprint both have sufficient bandwidth for this purpose already. A PMD in a vehicle, would have enough battery, and a backup battery of 4Ah or so for the truly paranoid might be in order, just in case the bad cop cuts the battery cable.

  35. #35 |  Frank | 

    “I noticed too that firemen were not on the top ten according to that list. I wonder why it does not bother anybody, how people go on and on, about those brave firmen and how dangerous their job is. Some even work for evil local governments.

    “Statistics are good but when I point out that based on the number of car stops, search warrants etc. that the number of actual “bad cop” or “bad action” is a small percentage. I have people here, call me names and say that even one is too much.”

    Because one IS too many when the perpetrator in question can get away with, sometimes literally, murder thanks to the thin blue line crap. Firefighters don’t have the power to ruin or end an innocent person’s life just because he didn’t get fellated by his wife/girlfriend/local ho last night.

    Too many highschool bullies are getting past the psychological screening. That large cities actually budget out-of-court settlement funds should be a huge red flag.

  36. #36 |  etaoin | 

    putting two cops in every squad car would greatly reduce the risk in such situations, especially traffic stops. A bad guy with a cop outside both car windows is much less likely to try to shoot his way out than if there’s just one.

    I wish I could find the citation but a few years ago, when the NYPD union was demanding more officers per car, there were several studies cited that said cops were prone to get into MORE physical confrontations, not fewer, because they felt they were in a stronger position and that more cops were hurt as a result. I don’t recall what it said about how legitimate those confrontations were, just that there were more of them.
    I see some people have absorbed the Sept.11 firefighters’ “we were running in while everyone was running out.” I have come to hate that expression because it has been so misused, allowed to excuse all kinds of misbehavior. Honest to God, I hope someone Tasers some cops some day, in self defense. Of course, they’ll probably get killed in the process but enough is enough.

  37. #37 |  Beavis | 

    this is funny, I have been railing about this for the last few years (since 9.11.2001 in particular). My dad was a truck driver. He delivered the food that feeds us all. Why isn’t he a hero? I knew more truck drivers died than cops. You never see any civil servant jobs in the most dangerous jobs.

  38. #38 |  Butthead | 

    Nice article.

    http://www.killercop.com

  39. #39 |  Chris | 

    There’s a big difference between someone dying in an accident at sea or an accident on the road and another person taking an officers life. Just because there were 69 out of 100,000 killed by a criminal doesn’t make the job less dangerous. How about looking at all the situations that the officer won the confrontation because he used his militaristic equipment to save their life or someone elses. Officers face potentially dangerous situations almost daily depending on where they work. Think about all the armed robberies that occur. Anyone of those could term into a deadly situation. An officer never knows what kind of situation they are stepping into. A trash man knows the dangers of his job every second, the fisherman has ways of not going overboard, and the loggers can not take that risk. Officers have to do their job, they can’t say “I’m not going in there he’s got a gun”. They have to, it’s their job.

    And I don’t understand your thought of ending the war on drugs. That would cause so many more problems than you could possibly imagine. The people who don’t deal with it on a daily basis just don’t understand the fear an officer has on something as simple as a traffic stop. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN AT ANYTIME and an officer has to ready for it. 69 died at the hand of criminals last year, but how many criminals tried and failed?

  40. #40 |  T Wezz | 

    Chris #39 simply hit it right on the nail. I’m still thinking about joining the force. I live in a big city and I just can’t see myself fearing the unknown everyday I’m at work. It’s just not in my body chemistry I guess. They make good money here too…like 60k starting and Lord knows I can use that salary. I make half of that now but happy in my job. Props to those who do and to all the crooked cops who give good cops a bad name…I hope you burn for eternity. 69 died, but like Chris said…how many criminals tried to take their lives and failed? How many cops are assaulted and attacked on the regular? How many dodged fate? You can’t count that. If they weren’t trained and were just the average citizen like you and I, how many would have died then? Thats the true ratio we should be counting. Any cops on here recommend becoming a cop in a big city being young with a daughter/family to take care of?

  41. #41 |  Rad Geek People’s Daily 2010-01-23 – Siege mentality | 

    [...] Radley Balko, The Agitator (2007-12-28): Just how dangerous is police work? [...]

  42. #42 |  charley | 

    I don’t really see how police officers having access to military equipment and using SWAT Tactics more often infringes on the rights of citizens. In cop training, we are told that we have to be prepared for the “Worst case scenario” although we will probably never see that scenario in our careers, but it does happen.
    Using a “SWAT Tactic” doesnt mean that you are using any amount of excessive force, it just means that you are taking every possible precaution before going into a dangerous situation. And let’s talk about those lovable tasers. They are completely non-lethal (unless you are trying to injest a bag of marijuana and it gets stuck in your throat, fall off a building, or are already on a crack binge), and have no long term effects at all. Why not use those more often? As a police officer, I would much rather tazer a suspect from 10 feet away than not use the tazer and attempt to apprehend him with my own two hands, what sense does that make? Also, over 95% of officers carrying a tazer have been hit with it themselves, the same goes for pepper spray.
    I would venture to guess that, before SWAT teams, tasers, pepper spray, kevlar, and everything else that makes a well equipped police officer, that the job was far more dangerous than it is now.

  43. #43 |  USA Today: “When citizens film police, it shouldn’t be a crime” | Cop Block | 

    [...] just have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Anything else would be unfair. He did have a “risk[y]“ job that required him to “make decisions based upon split-second determinations” after [...]

  44. #44 |  How can we get our public servants to take more life-threatening risks on the job? « Entitled to an Opinion | 

    [...] at night which can result in the deaths of both residents and officers, though you recall also that policing isn’t that dangerous a profession (with most of the risk coming from operating a vehicle). If you were similar to but [...]

  45. #45 |  tim | 

    The opinions/perspectives of some of you are absolutely ridiculous. Why is it that traffic accident deaths get discounted somehow as illegitimate for police officers while probably 100% of fishing or logging deaths are accidents? I bet there is no other job that comes close to the percentage of people being deliberately killed at the hand of another as for cops. If you insist that “accidents” don’t count for some reason, then that is the context you should use across the board and it shouldn’t be included for any profession, and in that case, Law Enforcement tops this stupid list by an astronomical margin. When is the last time you heard about a fisherman getting shot in the head while he was eating his lunch?

    Secondly, why is it that everyone assumes that cops are propagating the myth that theirs is the most dangerous job? That can be blamed on the ignorant media, so don’t blame police for the misconception. As a police officer I can say that where we fall on the “most dangerous jobs” list was not even remotely a factor in why we signed up for this job, and does not figure into the decisions we make on the job each day. Trust me, we’re not pining for respect and glory. These days that would be like becoming a stripper in order to gain academic admiration. It is a job that is unquestionably necessary regardless of the attention that it receives, negative or positive.

    I think what bothers me most about this article is that the author thinks that the use of superior weapons and tactics needs to be justified. It’s justified because it’s inherently better (i.e; safer, more effective). There is not a single drawback for anyone except the criminal who now has a higher probability of apprehension. Even if there was need for a source of “justification” it would have nothing to do with a statistic on how many police officers are killed each year. Things like weapons and tactics are decided by people much smarter than you with a lot more information than you have. They spend their careers studying and analyzing specific incidents on a case by case basis and then make adjustments in order to address very real and very quantifiable problems. Furthermore, they are very successful, which, whether you like it or not, is directly relatable to the lack of on-the-job deaths.

    All that to say: I have no problem with disputing the validity of common beliefs about police work. What is annoying, however, is that you come to your conclusions based mostly on faulty reasoning, and ignorant and swayed perspective, and inaccurate assumptions based on your bias.

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