Police Unity Tour: Why?

This year there have been 75 officers killed so far in the USA. Since 1791, there have been 20,579 known line of duty deaths in America

The most recent death was today. The account is very sad

Police Officer: Kevin Will

Houston Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tour of Duty: 1 year, 8 months

Police Officer Kevin Will was struck and killed by a drunk driver as he investigated a hit-and-run accident involving a motorcyclist on the North Loop at approximately 3:15 am.
Officer Will was interviewing a witness to the motorcycle accident when the drunk driver drove around barriers and emergency vehicles that were blocking the closed freeway. Seeing the vehicle approach, Officer Will warned the witness to jump out of the way. The citizen was able to jump to safety moments before Officer Will was struck and killed.
The driver was taken into custody at the scene and faces charges in connection with Officer Will’s death.
Officer Will had served with the Houston Police Department for almost two years. He is survived by his expectant wife and two children.

Someone simply doing their job killed by a selfish dangerous idiot who not only driving whilst drunk, drives around barriers closing off a road. The officer it appears saved the life of a civilian and in doing so lost his own.

This is one of 23 deaths involving automobiles this year.

 

Total Line of Duty Deaths: 75

Aircraft accident: 1
Animal related: 1
Assault: 4
Automobile accident: 13
Duty related illness: 4
Explosion: 1
Gunfire: 32
Gunfire (Accidental): 2
Heart attack: 5
Motorcycle accident: 3
Struck by train: 2
Struck by vehicle: 3
Vehicle pursuit: 2
Vehicular assault: 2

 
By Month

January: 18
Febuary: 14
March: 20
April: 11
May: 12

 
By State

Alabama: 2
Arizona: 1
Arkansas: 1
California: 3
Colorado: 1
Florida: 10
Georgia: 2
Indiana: 1
Iowa: 1
Maine: 1
Maryland: 2
Michigan: 3
Missouri: 2
New Jersey: 2
New York: 6
North Carolina: 1
Ohio: 6
Oregon: 2
South Carolina: 1
South Dakota: 1
Tennessee: 3
Texas: 9
Tribal Police: 1
U.S. Government: 8
Virginia: 2
Washington: 2
Wisconsin: 1

 
By Gender

Male: 68

Female 7

 

 

By contrast in the UK there have been 2 officers killed this year, one in a road accident and one by a bomb in Northern Ireland.

In 2010 there were 5 UK officers killed (all traffic accidents) : In USA there were 158 (61 by gunfire)

In 2009 there were 12 UK officers killed : In USA there were 135 (49 by gunfire)

In 2008 there were 13 UK officers killed (including 4 in a single traffic accident) : In USA there were 151 (42 by gunfire)

 

The figures come from the US website Officer Down Memorial Page and the UK website Police Memorial

 

All these people deserve to be remembered for the sacrifice they made. However, it goes beyond that, all are somebodies son/ daughter/ brother/ sister/ father/ mother/ husband/ wife. They all leave people grieving and who deserve to be remembered and supported after the loss of their loved one.

 

Another story was brought home to me this year.

Sergeant Anthony Michael Wallace

Hoonah Police Department, Alaska
End of Watch: Saturday, August 28, 2010

Age: 32

Tour of Duty: 4 years

Badge Number: 102

Cause of Death: Gunfire

Date of Incident: August 28, 2010

Related Line of Duty Deaths

Officer Matthew Tokuoka Hoonah, AK

Sergeant Anthony Wallace and Officer Matthew Tokuoka were ambushed and killed by a lone gunman.
Officer Tokuoka, who was off-duty, was in his car with his family when he stopped to talk to Sergeant Wallace who was standing outside his vehicle. Sergeant Wallace’s mother was visiting him in Alaska and was accompanying him on a ride along at the time.
A man who the two officers had arrested on several occasions in the past walked up to the officers and opened fire. Sergeant Wallace was shot first and Officer Tokuoka went to render aid and was then shot.
Officer Tokuoka died early Sunday at a clinic in Hoonah and Sergeant Wallace died during surgery in Juneau.
The suspect fled to his house and barricaded himself inside while 100 officers, including SWAT teams from the Alaska State Troopers and the Juneau Police Department, responded to the scene. The suspect surrendered to officers after remaining barricaded for two days.
Sergeant Anthony Wallace, who was legally deaf, had served for the Hoonah Police Department for four years. He had previously served as a non-sworn public safety officer with the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He is survived by his mother and daughter, father and step-mother, three brothers, and grandmother.
The badge numbers of Sergeant Wallace and Officer Tokuoka were retired following their murders. The Hoonah City Council proclaimed the memorial service day for both officers, September 8th, as Anthony Wallace and Matthew Tokuoka Day.
In April of 2011, SGT Wallace was posthumously awarded the Police Medal of Heroism by the Governor of Alaska.

Michael T one of the Ohio riders was riding in memory of Tony. His mother who had been present when Tony was murdered and had to radio in the shooting; and his girlfriend Cara Were in Washington at the end of our ride and attended the Candlelight Vigil as members of that group no one wants to join – the survivors of officers killed.

I was fortunate enough to get to spend a very pleasant evening with Debbie ( Tony’s mother) and Cara and two other riders. It brought home to me the real tragedy behind each death. It is not just the officer who loses his life, but the relatives and partners have to live with their lose forever.

When you are asked by me for donations for this event, it is to the memory of people like this and to support their relatives and loved ones. Please remember them next year when I ask for sponsorship.

 

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About spen666

I'm a 40 something football fan and cyclist. I've been a football fanatic most of my life and have completed the 92 football league & premier league grounds Added to this numerous non league grounds, a number abroad and you start to get the picture. I took up cycling in around 2000. Although my father was a former World Vets Champion, I got into cycling accompanying my son to ride in London. This was followed by my commuting to work each day into Central London. Then doing some Sunday rides, then some audax events (www.audax.uk.net) and then a week's cycling holiday in France with a friend. From there, I got more and more into cycling and in 2009 completed LEJoG and in 2010 rode in the USA with the Police Unity Tour. I completed blogs for those events at www.aminearlythere.blogspot.com and www.bothesidesofthepond.blogspot.com Feel free to read them and learn more about me. I live alone which suits me as it gives me time at weekends to pursue my interests of cycling and football. (Well what did you expect me to say? That I'm sad at being single?) I'm currently looking for my next challenge. Any suggestions gratefully received.
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