STATE WIDE–Two police officers died on the job in Indiana in 2019. Neither one of them were killed by other people. The number of officers who died on the job across the country is down. People with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund want to bring that number even lower.
“We have many organizations, including us and our Destination Zero program, focusing on the best practices, how to avoid those single car crashed,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the Fund.
Trooper Peter Stephan, 27, crashed his patrol car in Tippecanoe County, on the way to help another trooper who had called for backup in October. Rising Sun Chief of Police David Paul Hewitt, 49, died in a crash on black ice, while on his way to the police station in February.
Sgt. Charles Tice, an Indianapolis police officer, died of cancer in August.
Five officers died on the job in Indiana in 2018, with 144 deaths across the country. That number was down significantly this year.
“The country experienced 128 fatalities, officers in the line of duty. That is actually down 18 percent from 2018,” said Ferranto.
She said 49 of those were firearm-related.
Twelve of the officers who died, died from cancer related to the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City.
Ferranto said the Destination Zero program is to help officers with nest practices to avoid deaths of any nature.
“It is our officer safety and wellness program.”
“The primary goal of the Destination Zero program is to create a platform that provides all U.S. law enforcement agencies with the ability to research successful and/or promising officer safety and wellness programs and identify the resources necessary to begin their own risk management initiatives,” said the program’s website.
It is likely that Trooper Stephan and Chief Hewitt’s names will be added to the Fallen Officers Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Ferranto said that May 13, ceremony is attended by around 30,000 people every year.
PHOTOS: Provided by their departments