Police firearms fatalities increase in 2011

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011 10:58 PM
Last updated Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 1:26 AM
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2011 was a grim year for police officers, both locally and nationwide.

Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy J.D. Paugh and Aiken Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson are numbered among the 68 federal, state and local officers killed by gunfire in 2011, the first time in 14 years that firearms killed more officers than traffic accidents, according to a study released Wednesday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The number of firearms deaths jumped 15 percent from 2010, when 59 officers were killed.

So far this year, 173 officers across the nation have died in the line of duty – a 13 percent increase from 2010, according to the nonprofit group, which tracks police deaths. The group’s data show that 64 of those officers died in traffic accidents, down from the 71 killed in 2010.

Craig Floyd, the group’s chairman, told The Associated Press he blamed the rise on budget cuts to public safety departments. He cited surveys by police groups that showed many cut back on training and delay upgrading equipment, and referenced a Department of Justice report issued in October that said an estimated 10,000 police officers and sheriff’s deputies have been laid off within the past year.

Although those might be factors with some departments, layoffs and lack of training are not problems for Aiken officers, said Aiken Public Safety Lt. David Turno.

Rather, Turno said, he and other officers are seeing an increasing lack of respect for those who wear a badge.

“I do see that in the younger population out there. It’s like they just don’t care,” Turno said.

Richardson, 33, was killed Dec. 20 during a shootout at a traffic stop on Brandt Court in Aiken. Police have obtained murder warrants against Stephon M. Carter, 19, in that incident. Paugh, 47, was shot to death Oct. 23 by a Christopher Hodges, a Tennessee National Guardsman stationed at Fort Gordon. Hodges, 26, killed himself after shooting Paugh.

Police deaths were spread across 41 states and Puerto Rico. The largest number of fatalities was reported in Florida, where 14 officers were killed. Georgia had 10 fatalities and South Carolina had four.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

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Asitisinaug 12/29/11 - 11:24 am
The Augusta Commission

The Augusta Commission Response:

- Cut over 40 Sheriff Deputy positions in the past few years

- Cut over 2.5 million from the Sheriff's budget in the last couple of years

- Issue many furlough days (pay decreases for deputies) and reduction in force by several thousand man hours

- Reduction in training for deputies due to budget cuts, furlough days and lack of man power.

Our Sheriff's Office is doing and amazing job despite the Augusta Commission but could do far better if they had the support and funding they deserve. We do not need to lose any more police officers within our area but with the lack of manpower, training and funding be provided by the commission chances are far greater for our deputies to be injured, harmed or killed in the line of duty and this should not be acceptable.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 12/29/11 - 11:32 am
Public schools

Public schools misappropriated our tax dollars to preach to our kids they just came from animals so they DON’T care if they live or die but on their way out many want to take cops or anyone else they can with them. They even have Natural Selector T-Shirts, Bands, Websites and fans…

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