INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is using a national program to try to decrease the number of line of deaths.
The Below 100 program is being taught for the first time at IMPD’s Training Academy. It focuses on five tenets that hope to create a safer situation for police officers and the public.
Those tenets are: Wear your seat belt, wear your bulletproof vest, watch your speed, ask yourself ‘What’s important now?’ and remember that complacency kills.
The program was created in 2010 by a group of contributors to Law Officer Magazine who wanted to find a way to bring the number of officer deaths down.
In 2011, the line of duty deaths in the U.S. was at 179. The next year that number came down to 125. In 2013, it was down to 105. So far this year, 46 officers have died in the line of duty.
The majority of these deaths are due to traffic-related accidents when officers are driving too fast.
“A lot of times you don’t need to (speed),” said Sgt. Jeff Horn, who trains the officers. “People don’t realize that more officers are killed just in a single car accident as a line of duty death than being shot or anything else.”
He shares dash cam videos and pictures of accidents that are startling. One picture shows the aftermath of a Florida officer’s cruiser after it hit a pole. The officer was speeding, trying to get to roll call. He died in the crash.
“How is my family gonna feel if I’m just going to roll call and I wrap my car around a pole or tree and I didn’t need to?” asked Horn. “We’re out there to try to help them control what they can control.”
He also wants officers to be accountable, because their actions also have an impact on the public. He shared a video of a Texas officer who was speeding without his light or sirens at night and ran into a 10-year-old boy, killing him.
“It’s so simple,” said Horn. “These are simple things that we can do as officers that can improve the quality of life for all of us.”