Friday, December 31, 2004

Jobs more dangerous than a police officer

CrimProf blog points to an MSNBC report that says 154 U.S. police officers died in the line of duty in 2004, half in traffic accidents, and one-third in shootings.

Police officers' jobs are dangerous, but not that much more so than other common jobs. A few years ago I compiled a partial list of jobs more dangerous than a police officer from the 2000 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. They include obviously dangerous jobs like miners, but also jobs you wouldn't think of like truck drivers, groundskeepers, fishermen, construction workers, and airplane pilots. That's right -- the groundskeeper trimming trees in the city park statistically has a more dangerous job than the local cop. Actually, cutting trees is dangerous business. It's ten times more dangerous to be a lumberjack than a police officer.


Gritsforbreakfast said...

"where there are none"?

I dispute your premise. Grieving families mourn equally, sir, and it's a cold fact that families of timber cutters are ten times more likely to face such grief than families of police officers. That should be good news for police. It's kind of funny people are defensive about it. I think that's mostly because the statistics belie a lot of the high-blown rhetoric.

Adam RainStopper said...
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Carolyn said...

You said:
"...and rarely is a police officer EVER murdered on the job resulting from anything other than a grudge that began with his or her own abuse of power. The cops who get killed are the ones who get themselves killed."

I would love to see some proof of this.

Adam RainStopper said...
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Anonymous said...

The point of this article was to compare how dangerous a given occupation is.Being murdered is one of occupation hazards for being a cop, such as downing is to a fisherman, or getting crushed by a tree for a lumberjack.

The point of course is to figure out how often these things happens. And according to the Census data it doesn't happen nearly as much as people would. think. Yes police work can be dangerous but so can many other occupations such as cab drivers which stats show a much higher mortality rate than being a peace officer.

adam said...

Let's consider the rate of people being killed by the actions of other people. Compare how many cops are killed on the job to how many civilians are killed by cops. Most police officers survive to retirement, but few of them retire having never once used their service weapon, and the statistical majority of fatal shootings of suspects by police are actually circumstances in which the suspect was unarmed. In many cases, superior officers give the green light to shoot to kill if you have skipped out on bail and flee when you see them coming. I grew up in Hartford CT, and every one of the cops in that city carries TWO firearms: his service weapon, and a "disposable" that he can plant in the hand of anyone he happens to shoot dead. This cover-ass technique is widely known and accepted among city cops. They are more violent than the bloods and crips, better organized than columbian cartels, and more ruthless than the mob, so I can't help rolling my eyes when a cop gets shot and they have a memorial that has the entire city shut down for a week.