Metro-area agencies see spike in aggression toward law enforceme - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Metro-area agencies see spike in aggression toward law enforcement

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Surveillance video from Friday shows just how close a Richland officer and his K-9 partner came to getting struck by a suspect as he drove away. While both officers walked away from the incident, it draws attention to a troubling statistic nationwide.

Data from the FBI indicates one in eleven law enforcement officers was assaulted while performing their duties in 2014.

In the last two weeks, law enforcement agencies in the metro have dealt with this as well, with four officers mere inches away from injury or death after fleeing suspects nearly struck them.

Two weeks ago, a Rankin County deputy sustained non life-threatening injuries after he was pinned between his patrol car and the suspect's vehicle.

Two cases in Jackson -- one on Thursday and another Sunday -- ended with the suspect trying to hit an officer while driving away.

"You gotta know what you're doing out there, and you gotta be alert," said Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance. "There's no such thing as a routine call. It can go bad out there in a second." 

Vance said his officers undergo training on how to read situations, and more importantly, how to make sure they don't treat others as criminals.

At the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pearl, Major Thomas Tuggle said cadets receive intense, pressure-packed training that helps officers in the Magnolia State.

"We've had people challenge why we're so intense, and now they're starting to see where the intensity is actually starting to benefit the officer," said Tuggle.

At the same time, Tuggle said they instill in those future officers that society now has changed significantly. even more so in the past few years ago.

He references what he considers an anti-police movement around the country, which makes it harder for good officers to do their jobs. Vance agrees with that sentiment.

"We've had some incidents in other parts of the country where quite frankly, it appears to me, that officers not only have been wrong, they've been dead wrong," said Vance. "But I don't think it's fair just because we're in the same profession as those individuals, to blame us for something that happened a thousand miles from here."

As for his department, Vance said he doesn't believe the four metro-area incidents in two weeks necessarily means law enforcement work is more dangerous than before. To him, it's always been dangerous.

"You just have to recognize what the signs are, and try to react to those to keep yourself safe," added Vance.

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