Florida Police Chiefs Association Responds To Latest 2016 Law Enforcement Fatalities Report

By  //  January 3, 2017

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135 officer fatalities in 2016

ABOVE VIDEO: Based on the report, law enforcement fatalities nationwide rose to their highest level in five years in 2016.

FLORIDA – The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) today responded to the most recent 2016 Law Enforcement Fatalities Report, based on preliminary data compiled and today released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

Based on the report, law enforcement fatalities nationwide rose to their highest level in five years in 2016.

The 135 officer fatalities in 2016 are a 10 percent increase over the 123 who died in the line of duty last year and is the highest total since 2011, when 177 officers made the ultimate sacrifice.

Of those 135 officer fatalities, seven were Florida officers, including one K9 officer.

“Every single time an officer falls, our communities lose so much more than a public servant. We lose a friend, a family members, a loved one… but most of all, we lose heroes who were willing to sacrifice everything to keep us safe,” said Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association.

“That kind of sacrifice isn’t common, but it’s the only reason we become law enforcement officers. These numbers represent true tragedy.”

A very troubling statistic was the rise of ambush-style killings of law enforcement officers. According to NLEOMF, firearms-related incidents were the number one cause of death in 2016, with 64 officers shot and killed across the country.

This represents a 56 percent increase over the 41 officers killed by gunfire in 2015. Of those 64 fatalities, 21 were ambush-style attacks – the highest total in more than two decades.

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“We should all be outraged that so many law enforcement officers were targeted specifically because of their calling,” said Chief Arenal.

“If this continues, who will be our protectors? It is becoming much more difficult to recruit good men and women to law enforcement because their own communities may turn against them. Our national and state leaders should join us in doing everything in our power to condemn these actions.”

The following Florida officers lost their lives in 2016:

Deputy Eric James Oliver, Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, FL
EOW: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle

K9 Forest, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, FL
EOW: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Officer Jorge Sanchez, Miami Police Department, FL
EOW: Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Cause of Death: Automobile crash

Deputy Scott Williams, Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, FL
EOW: Monday, October 31, 2016
Cause of Death: Automobile crash

Sergeant Jorge Ramos, Florida Department of Corrections
EOW: Sunday, May 1, 2016
Cause of Death: Heart attack

Deputy John Robert Kotfila, Jr., Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
EOW: Saturday, March 12, 2016
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault

Special Agent Scott McGuire, U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement
EOW: Sunday, January 24, 2016
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault

The statistics released today are based on preliminary data compiled by the NLEOMF and do not represent a final or complete list of individual officers who will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2016.


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