Incident reminder of police dangers

Published 5:42 am Wednesday, June 3, 2009

By By Adam Prestridge
Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each day to protect the public, and it is not uncommon for one to lose their life in the line of duty.
The events leading up to the May 24 car chase that resulted in the shooting death of 33-year-old Danny Ray Williams of Perdido by an Atmore Police Department officer remain under investigation, and while no officer was injured they serve as a reminder of how dangerous the job can be.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 1,640 officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1999. Of those, 154 were killed after being struck by vehicles, 50 of which were ruled as felonious acts.
Williams, who was believed to be under the influence of alcohol, allegedly tried to run over one of the officers, according to police reports. The officers reported they acted in self-defense after one of them was nearly struck by the white Nissan Altima driven by Williams and fired shots into the vehicle.
Atmore Public Safety Director Glenn Carlee said the city, as with most cities, has regulations in place for shooting into vehicles.
Morison said his organization cites 20 causes of death of law enforcement officers some of which include being shot, stabbed and beaten. Officers being struck by vehicles ranks No. 3 on the list, making up 10 percent of the deaths, which Morison believes justifies a vehicle being considered a deadly weapon.
Morison said an incident occurred last year in the Washington, D.C. where a police officer from Prince George’s County was part of a team that was staking out a stolen vehicle. He said the offenders got in the vehicle, tried to escape and one of the offenders drove at and struck the officer and killed him.

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