Members of area law enforcement agencies around the country will be gathering in the next few days to remember the 19,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty since 1792.
The Quaker Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police will hold a memorial breakfast at 10 a.m. Monday at the Taste of Country restaurant in Lisbon to honor all county law enforcement officers.
Although we have been fortunate in Columbiana County that we have not lost any police officers in recent history, the services are a reminder that fighting crime is dangerous work for the 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers working in the United States. During the last 10 years, 1,626 officers have died in the line of duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. That averages out to a death every 53 hours.
Last year, 152 officers died in the line of duty, and their names, plus the names of 164 officers who died in previous years, will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. Those names were formally dedicated during a candlelight vigil Friday, an event that leads up to National Police Week, which begins Sunday.
Of the 152 officers who lost their lives last year, 59 were shot to death, 49 died in auto accidents, 14 died of job-related illnesses, 14 died after being struck by a vehicle, six died in motorcycle accidents, three drowned, two died in aircraft accidents, two were beaten to death, one died in a bicycle accident, one died in a boating accident and one died in a fall. Six of the fallen officers were female.
Since 1792, Texas has suffered the greatest losses of any state, with 1,594 officers having lost their lives in the line of duty. In our region, Ohio has lost 752 officers, Pennsylvania has lost 717 officers and West Virginia has lost 161 officers.
We ask that everyone take a moment to remember the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women who work day and night, 365 days a year, to enforce our laws and keep our communities safe.