On New Year's Day of 2012, Abimael Castro-Berrocales,
a sergeant with the Puerto Rico Police Department, stopped a car at
about 9:30 a.m. The driver shot him twice in the face. Sgt. Castro-
Berrocales died later that day.
On December 31st, twelve months later, Officer Chris Yung
of the Prince William County Police Department in Virginia was in route
to a motor vehicle accident on his motorcycle when a minivan turned in
front of him. He too died from his injuries.
Sgt. Castro Castro-Berrocales and Officer Yung were the
first and last of the 126 officers who lost their lives in the line of
duty during the 2012 calendar year according to the Officer Down
These 126 men and women left behind more than a hundred
children, broken lives, and anguish beyond measure.
In New Jersey, we lost Patrolman Chris Reeves of the
Millville Police Department who died in a crash when his vehicle was
struck by the vehicle being pursued during a pursuit and Detective
Sergeant James G. Hoopes, III of the New Jersey State Police who died on
September 12th while participating in his agency's annual physical
We're not going to insert some sentence here to make you
feel better about the first five paragraphs. We're not going to talk
about hope or valor or sacrifice.
This job is extremely dangerous. Treat it that way.
The New Year's Resolution for NJLawman.com is simple: We
are going to be in you face more with officer survival.
Each week we update the line of duty deaths, and while
all are senseless, many are unnecessary.
Respect this job, and follow your training. Don't
underestimate anyone, and get to the call in one piece. And for God's
sake, put on your seatbelt!
If you're making a stop and are not mentally and
physically prepared for the driver to come out shooting, don't make the
Remember, no suspect or package is worth your life.
Have a safe 2013, and may God watch over all of your
your Thoughts on This
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NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPITALS! Please.
The numbers are way too high but I think they also reflect a problem
that Law Enforcement needs to address. Today officers are hired and
quickly ran through a academy that mainly focuses on how not to get
sued. I think we need to re-evaluate our academy training and give new
officers the right tools to survive. There should be more focus on
physical fitness, self defense, firearms, vehicle operations, tactical
entries, active shooter scenarios and officer down. If this means
expanding the academy then lets do it! After these skills are taught
these recruits should be sent out for a 12 week field training program
so they can perfect those skills. Upon completion send them back to the
academy for a few more weeks to perfect those skills before graduating.
Training should never end there! A large part of law enforcement is
repetition. There needs to be more in service training for officer! I'm
not talking about the old school "Yeah guys we all know this so lets do
our time so we can be out by lunch" routine. I'm talking about real
academics that help us to provide a quality service to our communities.
It doesn't end with academics we have to improve our firearms
qualification course that is just prehistoric and unrealistic for what
we do. Practice our self defense "How can we protect others if we can't
protect ourselves"? Physical Fitness standards and testing to assure
officers can answer the call but also reflect a true professional image.
These are just a few ideas that I think we need to consider. Lets set
You say: "The purpose of this piece is not to take a position either
way on the current gun debate: it is about bringing attention to a group
of elitists who feel they have the right to expose, for their gain, the
private affairs of our citizens."
Except the data was not private and never was. The Journal News got
it on a FOIA request - which any halfway intelligent criminal could
easily have done.
These numbers are too high. This should be pressed into every
recruits face everyday at the academy. It also wouldn't hurt to remind
every officer of the risks taken with every stop or call. I don't think
most think about it everyday they go to work that it could be your last
day there, I know I never did. May they all rest in peace.
Stay alert, stay alive...
126 deaths is 126 too much. We need to be smarter and get these
Rest in peace to those who fell. Let's honor them by promising
our families we will never make them take the trip to D.C. for Police