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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels

Law enforcement fatalities up in 2014

FBI data released today showed a spike in the number of law enforcement officers killed on the job by criminals from 2013 to 2014. But fewer officers were killed last year than the annual average since 1980.

Last year, 51 officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty, versus 27 in 2013. Since 1980, an average of 64 officers have been feloniously killed per year, and 2013 was the 35-year low for officer killings.

No Washington officers made the list for 2014, though former Wapato police officer Derek Hansen, 43, died March 8 from a blood clot caused by injuries from a fight with a suspect in 2011.

Offenders who killed officers used firearms in 46 of the killings. Seven officers had their weapons stolen, though only one was killed with his own weapon. Four officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons, and one was killed by an offender without the use of a weapon.

Spokane area law enforcement agencies will hold the 28th Annual Law Enforcement Ceremony Tuesday morning to honor all law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since 1854.

The name of a forgotten officer, Chelan County Deputy Sheriff James M. Bennett, will be added to the memorial. Bennett died in 1911 after he was accidentally shot by his weapon while traveling to serve a warrant, according to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. He stopped while on route to a sheepherder's property and dismounted his horse to get a drink. As he leaned over, his revolver fell from his shoulder holster and discharged, killing him.

The ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Public Safety Building, 1100 W. Mallon Avenue. There will be a moment of silence for Coeur d'Alene police Sgt. Greg Moore, who was shot and killed while patrolling on May 5.

Rachel Alexander
Rachel Alexander came to the Spokesman-Review in 2014 after working for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. She covers social services, health and science for the City Desk and writes a monthly data-focused column, Know Spokane.

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