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This week at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Officer Safety and Wellness Symposium in Miami, Attorney General William Barr spoke to members.
One of the events focuses this year was on the epidemic of police suicide, which is trending up and increased 44% from 2018 to 2019. Reports of police suicides in 2019 were tallied at 228. The actual number (due to inaccurate or non reporting) is unknown, but is likely much higher.
“Policing is dangerous. The reality is that being a police officer is more dangerous today than it has ever been before,” said Barr. “One reason is the emergence of a deeply troubling attitude towards police in some parts of society. Far from respecting the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us, it has become common in some quarters to scapegoat and disrespect police officers and disparage the vital role you play in society. This undoubtedly makes your already difficult job of protecting the public even harder.”
“There are a number of DAs that have stopped enforcing resistance laws and I think we have to get back to the idea that it is completely unacceptable and we have zero tolerance for resistance of police,” he said. “If people have a problem we have processes and there’s a time and place to raise your concerns or complaint, but resistance is unacceptable.”
“Foreign wars usually come to an end, but the battle that law enforcement fights never comes to an end. There is never a final victory, it is constant,” he said. “That takes a special kind of courage and a special kind of sacrifice.”