A statement regarding firearms and the murder of five Dallas police officers has been issued by the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. Baltimore County Chief of Police Jim Johnson is chair of the Partnerhsip.
This is the statement in its entirety:
"The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence deeply mourns the loss of four Dallas Police Department Officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Officer, who were deliberately targeted for assassination today [July 7, 2016] by a deranged and cowardly group of individuals who were intent on killing law enforcement officers. We send our deepest condolences to the families of these brave fallen officers and to the officers and families of those who were shot and survived. Our thoughts are also with the citizens of Dallas, Texas and with this great Nation as we all share in the loss of these heroes.
Our coalition of nine national law enforcement leadership organizations has long expressed our concern over the devastating toll of violence in our communities and in violence directed towards law enforcement. Those who encourage and call for violence against law enforcement are equally as guilty as those who commit such violence and do nothing to promote the kind of mutual trust and cooperation that is needed to ensure that every American can feel safe within their communities.
Law enforcement officers put their own lives on the line to protect others, but the prevalence of gun violence across our nation is making these jobs increasingly more dangerous. Here are some of the disturbing facts:
- Firearm fatalities among law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty have risen sharply this year, up 44 percent over the same time last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
- Gunfire was the leading cause of officer line of duty deaths in 2014, as it has been since 2009, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
- An increasing proportion of police murders have been classified as ambushes. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, between 1990 and 2000, police murders that were attributable to ambush assaults was about 12 percent; from 2001 to 2012, that figure was 21 percent.
- Firearms were responsible for 93 percent of homicides of law enforcement officers between 1996 and 2010, according to a 2013 Johns Hopkins study.
Gun deaths among all Americans have been on the rise over the 15 years, going from an average of 79 per day in 2002, to 92 a day in 2014 -- the last year for which data is publicly available, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence has stressed the need – as a public safety imperative – for improved responses to these senseless acts of violence and will remain committed to pursuing these improvements and calling attention to their need as we are doing today
We owe it to the heroes lost and injured today and to all of America’s law enforcement officers to do all we can to make our communities safer and to unite in support of one another, regardless of the color of our skin, how we worship, who we love or the uniform we wear. Dallas Chief of Police David Brown asked for our support and today, we pledge our support to the Dallas and DART Police Departments, to law enforcement nationwide, and to those in our communities who are far too often victimized by gun violence."