Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety display statistics which show a staggering number of assaults against police officers nationwide.
Seventy-two law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2011.
Of the 72 officers feloniously killed, 23 were killed in arrest situations, 15 were ambushed, 11 were involved in performing traffic pursuits/stops, nine were involved in tactical situations, and seven were answering
Five of the slain officers were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances; one was conducting an investigative activity, such as surveillance, searches, or interviews; and one officer
was killed while transporting or maintaining the custody of prisoners.
"It's a disturbing trend that law enforcement administrators across the nation take very seriously," said Col. Kerry Pettingill, chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
"Our instructors, at the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, do their best to stay on top of defensive tactics training in an effort to keep our troopers skills and awareness at a high level. Officer safety is a top priority in our mission to provide public safety."
54,774 law enforcement officers were assaulted while performing their duties. Of the officers assaulted, approximately 14,570, (over 26%)
suffered injuries. In Oklahoma, there were 686 officers assaulted in 2011
*Source: FBI-2011-Statistics on law enforcement officers killed and assaulted.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, (OSBI) reports that from 2009 to 2011, there were 2,410 officers assaulted in Oklahoma with over 400 of
those officers receiving injuries from their attackers.
DPS Commissioner Michael C. Thompson states, "It is concerning, the number of assaults targeted against law enforcement have consistently increased
since 2009. I suspect the 2012 and 2013 numbers will continue to trend upward. The most troubling factor is the escalating violence our communities as a whole are exposed to. It is a challenge that we all must
be mindful of."