Sunday, July 7, 2019

Damn Lies and Statistics

There's a list of 'Dangerous Jobs' on the internet.
You know the one: every keyboard commando and cop hater on the planet keeps it bookmarked.

Loggers. Commercial Fishermen. Roofers. Truckers. Pilots. Farmers.

All honorable and necessary professions.
All risky. No argument there.
But that's not the point, at all. There IS a point, and people who compare those risky, honorable professions to the hazards of law enforcement are missing it.
The refrain is getting old --
"Being a cop isn't even dangerous. More (fill in the blank with career choice) die every year than cops."
Way to misuse statistics.
Without getting into a lecture about trendlines, working analogies, margins of error, gross numbers vs. per capita or per hundred-thousand, and the like, let's just get to that point.

Casualties in all those other occupations represent industrial accident.
No crab pot, bucket of hot tar, snapped cable, or toxic manure pit sets out to kill the fisherman,roofer, logger or farmer because they're at work.
Trucks don't jack knife because they had a bad driver once, their truck friend got impounded last week, and this driver said something they don't like.

There's nothing personal about mechanical failure, or the fact of gravity.
Malice is the exclusive purview of humans.
Some police officers die in very sad accidents, or of the frailty of their regrettably human bodies.
The rest are murdered.
It's not the same, at all.

There's more to that refrain up there ^^ It goes like this:
"But fewer cops die in the line of duty now than ever before in history!!"
And that's true.
It's also true that fewer infantry soldiers and Marines die in combat than ever in history, and for the same reasons, but no reasonable person argues that war is 'safe'.

So, what are those reasons, anyway?
1. Ballistic armor, and
2. Faster access to ever more sophisticated trauma care.
That's it.
"Less death" doesn't equal "safe".

I know I said I wouldn't talk about trendlines, but here's one anyway.
Take a look.

See when that trend peaks, and then really starts to fall? That's the mid-1970s, when ballistic armor first became widely available for law enforcement agencies to purchase.

When you can look at numbers reflecting officers attacked who survive, the numbers are holding steady, for years now.
In fact, between 2003 and 2014, while workplace injuries decreased for all other job fields, injury rates for law enforcement rose , with the leading cause deliberate attacks and assaults. A study by the National Institute for Safety and Health demonstrated that cops are three times more likely to sustain non-fatal injury than all other U.S. workers.
There are thousands of officers, and their families, who face down life-altering, sometimes career-ending, wounds every year, utterly unnoticed by the public.

They're real, with real people who love them, the ones who fall, and those who survive to battle on.

Challenge the propaganda.
Break the silence.
They're worth it. You're worth it.

5 comments:

  1. You are more than welcome. You are why I am here.

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  2. Well written. As someone who has lost friends in the line of duty from car accidents, health issues, and being slain, the murder of my friends was by far the worst thing I have gone through. I think a better analysis of the risks our jobs entail would be an annual report of how many of us are assaulted, assaulted and injured, otherwise injured in the line of duty, and slain. That may help present our case to the public about the dangers of this job.

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  3. anyone who actually thinks that being a police officer is a safe profession lives in LaLa land. I used to think being in combat was more dangerous but in the last 8 years my opinion has changed and its clear that our LEO's are are in combat daily if not from criminals then it's from the media and activists anti-police groups who work to undermine our law enforcement. jmho

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  4. Just found this...thank you for writing in a manner that speaks ethics and facts!


    Please share more.

    Thanks again,
    A Game Warden that works mostly alone...

    ReplyDelete