(WWJ) “We’ve got an officer down” is a phrase no police officer ever wants to utter, but it’s a more common call lately than it should be in Detroit.
Six Detroit police officers have been shot in the last seven months, police report. Nationally, 37 police officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2017.
Detroit Police Officers Association president Mark Diaz visited the two latest victims Monday, stopping by the hospital rooms of two young Detroit cops, both 25, who were shot by a teenager who saw them in his yard with their flashlights on and thought they were burglars. They were, in fact, responding to a call for help about burglars in the area.
One officer was shot in the face by the shotgun blast, the other was hit in the body. Both are expected to recover, Police Chief James Craig said.
“This is a very strong reminder of what our police officers are doing every day in an attempt to keep our citizens safe,” Diaz told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas about the shooting. “Whether it was a result of an accident or whether it was deliberate, the reality is our police officers are on the front lines.”
He added a lot of police officers have come to the conclusion they’re a target.
At least 64 law enforcement officers were shot and killed in 2016, the most in the last five years, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. It was a 10 percent increase over 2015.
Diaz said a lot of those deaths were from gunfire “and they were deliberate.”
“Morale in the law enforcement community has definitely taken a shot to the chin as of late,” he said. “But one thing is for certain, our police officers here in the city of Detroit are 100 percent dedicated to keeping our citizens safe, but we definitely need the community to embrace the law enforcement officers and aid us in keeping them safe.”