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Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Announces New Initiative to Address Law Enforcement Safety

Holder delivers speech in Orlando/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ORLANDO — Concerned about the rising tide of law enforcement deaths on duty, Atty. General Eric Holder Jr. announced Tuesday a new  Justice Department initiative called “VALOR” to address law enforcement safety.

Speaking before a crowd of federal, state and local law enforcement  at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in Orlando, Holder said the Justice Department initiative  “will support much-needed research and analysis of violent encounters, and officer deaths and injuries.”

“And we’ll use this information to provide law enforcement with the latest information, and most effective tools and training, to respond to a range of threats – including ambush-style assaults.”

“VALOR also includes an award of $800,000, made earlier this year, to develop training and technical assistance programs to help officers learn how to anticipate and survive violent encounters,” Holder said.

Holder noted that since last October, 163 officers have been killed in the line of duty nationwide – with more than a third of them killed by gunfire.

“These losses – of mothers and fathers, spouses and siblings, children and colleagues – represent an alarming increase in police officer fatalities,” he said. “After reaching a 50-year low in 2009, the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty has surged.”

“Without question, the work before us is great,” he added. ” And it couldn’t be more urgent.  If current trends continue, 2010 could end as one of the deadliest years for law enforcement in more than two decades.”


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