Apr 24, 2011 11:41 PM by John Romero
It's a scene becoming all too familiar across the country. Police officers are getting killed at an alarming rate. Already this year 63 officers have been died in the line of duty nationally. 30 of those officers were killed by gunfire. "I'm very deeply concerned for the safety not only of our officers, but the safety of our entire community." explains Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers, "This issue of assaults and murders of police officers in the U.S, I think is weighing heavily on every cop in America right now."
It's a feeling Colorado Springs Police know all too well. In 2006 two members of the Colorado Springs Police Department were killed. Officer Ken Jordan and Detective Jared Jensen were gunned down just 10 months apart. Still the trend continues.
In 2010 the department saw a 58% increase of assaults on officers over 2009. Chief Myers tells News First 5 it's not letting up in 2011. "I think the statistics show a dramatic increase in 2010 and that doesn't appear to be declining this year." he says.
Myers, who has been in law enforcement for 34 years, says part of the problem comes from a growing distrust of government by the public. "When people don't trust the police, don't respect the police, their behavior toward the police is going to deteriorate as well." he explains. Myers hopes a return to community policing will help calm tensions. He believes the more visible and available cops are... The less likely someone would be to assault them. "It's a lot more difficult to act in a violent manor towards someone that you know, than it is a stranger that just hides behind a badge so to speak."
It's a growing problem Myers and all cops are watching very closely. He knows something must be done before tragedy strikes our community once again. "If it's becoming increasingly common for people to physically assault an officer, how much longer before, God forbid, someone tries to use deadly force on an officer." he says.