Across the country on January 9, citizens take the lead on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities. They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated. On National Law Enforcement Day, we have an opportunity to thank them for their service and offer a token of respect.
- There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female.
- Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 21,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 21,541 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
- A total of 1,511 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 58 hours or 151 per year. There were 129 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2017.
- There have been 58,627 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2016, resulting in 16,677 injuries.
- The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,480 officers died, or an average of almost 248 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 310 officers were killed. That figure dropped dramatically in the 1990s, to an average of 162 per year.
- New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 833 deaths. Texas has lost 1,731officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 23.
- There are 1,135 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 707 correctional officers and 41 military law enforcement officers.
- There are 328 female officers listed on the Memorial; nine female officers were killed in 2017.
- The first recorded American police officer to die in the line of duty was killed in 1791.
- Only around 1/3 of a police officer’s time is spent actually enforcing criminal law; most of the work of a police officer involves peacekeeping, order maintenance, and problem solving
- Police officers in Thailand can be forced to wear Hello Kitty armbands as punishment for infractions such as illegal parking or showing up to work late
- The Japanese police experimented with a device called a Motorcycle Arresting Device to snare members of biker gangs.
- The first known female police officer in the United States was Marie Owens, who was appointed to serve in Chicago in 1890.
- The first Latina policewoman, Josephine Serrano, joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1946.
- In 1916, Georgia Ann Robinson became the first African American policewoman.
- Police in Tucson, Arizona, formed a special unit to deal with mentally ill criminals. The unit has served over 1,500 commitment orders to mentally disturbed offenders, only twice needing to use force
- Some Japanese police officers carry paintball guns with bright orange paintballs to mark fleeing criminals’ vehicles.
- Police officers are at a higher risk for suicide than the general population.
- Some police departments in the U.S. are starting to create Internet Purchase Exchange Locations so that Craigslist or similar transactions can be conducted in an area with video surveillance and police presence and keep participating parties safe.
- In Detroit, you have to wait on average more than 58 minutes for the police to respond to a call, compared to a national average of 11 minutes. Most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day.
- US police detectives have worn suits for more than 100 years. Dressing formally is “psychological armor”; it “establishes a barrier between them and the messiness” of police work according to psychologists.
- In the process of trying to catch serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, Soviet police ended up solving more than 1000 unrelated crimes, including 95 murders and 245 rapes.
- In 2008, Lamborghini gave the Italian state police the world’s fastest police car, a Gallardo LP560-4, which was equipped with a video surveillance camera, gun racks, GPS, organ transplant cooler (in the luggage compartment) and defibrillator. It was crashed the following year.
- The town of Estelline in Texas ranks as one of the worst speed trap cities in the US. With a population of 168 people, its only police officer writes an average of 23 tickets a day bringing in more than $300,000 of ticket revenue a year.
- Finnish police have shot only 4 people to death in 25 years.
- Ohio police have been on the lookout for a “Pooping Bandit” for over 3 years, who has pooped on at least 19 cars so far.