EKU professor: Police officer shooting deaths see an increase inthe last two years

EKU professor: Police officer shooting deaths see an increase in the last two years
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Everyone in law enforcement who takes the oath to serve and protect knows the inherent dangers of the job.

However, according to Dr. Derek Paulsen, Dean of Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Justice, Safety and Military Science, his research shows shooting deaths of police officers across the nation have increased over the last two years.

“Just looking at the fatalities, there were six in 2022,” said Dr. Paulsen. “And the number of firearms-related deaths has increased over the last two years over historic averages, so shootings of police over the last two years is up nationally.”

More deaths mean more names added to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial. It’s located two buildings away from Dr. Paulsen’s EKU office. Unfortunately, the nameplates will have to expand because they are running out of space.

On Thursday morning., days ahead of Memorial Day, nine more names of officers dying in the line of duty will be honored. Seven of the nine officers died last year.

“One of the reasons that it’s here at the Department of Criminal Justice training is so those that are going through the academy can really see the reminding of the sacrifice,” Dr. Paulsen said.

Richmond PD lowered its flags at half-staff in honor of Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy Caleb Conley.

They know what it’s like for an officer to die in the line of duty. One of their own, Officer Daniel Ellis, was shot and killed in 2015.

“We’ve experienced that in the past, and we understand, so it’s going to be a hard time for that department in the future, and it’s going to be really difficult for the officer’s family and the wife he left behind,” said Chief Rodney Richardson.

Chief Richardson says the Scott County community will have to wrap its arms around and love on the Scott County Sheriff’s Office to help them get through this tough time.

We are told Deputy Conley’s name will not be added to the Kentucky law enforcement memorial until next spring.