FBI: Handguns killed 46 officers in 2014

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VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) –More police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2014 than the year before, according to the FBI. More than half of those deaths were from violent acts against officers. Local police departments are doing what they can to stay safe.

Every day it seems there’s another story about an officer being attacked. The FBI says that 96 officers died in the line of duty last year. 51 of them resulted in felony charges. Nearly all of those 51 deaths came from handguns. Vestavia Hills Police lieutenant Kevin York says these violent acts aren’t new.

“It’s the same threat that’s been there all along. It’s just materializing now there are more incidents of violence against police officers doing the mundane things like filling their cars up with gas,” York Said.

Even the message of violence is being spread. In North Carolina, a mural being painted at a police department’s headquarters was vandalized. In spray paint it says “kill a cop – save a child.”

“That someone would choose to not only deface a mural that is intended to be a community asset, but would deface it with the words kill a cop on it – it makes me sick,” Garner Police Chief Brandon Zuidema said. Lt. York says even with the vests and cameras, the job is still a dangerous one.

“There’s not really any technology you can run out and buy to protect against that,” Lt. York said.

“There’s not any training program that you haven’t already been given that can prepare you for that. We just tell our guys back each other up more,” York continued.

Vestavia Hills police also break down each situation where an officer is attacked. They want to learn from these real world cases to prevent them from happening here.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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