Unrecognized heroes? Cops saving lives while risking their own

The Detroit News reported today that a police officer in Sterling Heights, MI (a Detroit suburb) saved the life of a 3-week old infant last week, here’s the story “With video [watch above]: Sterling Heights cop saves choking infant.” Life-saving acts of heroism by police officers are really quite common but very much underappreciated in today’s anti-law enforcement climate with calls across the country to defund the police. Just how common?

Well, a Google search of the phrase “Cop Saves Life” yields nearly 10,000 results and a Google search of the phrase “Police Officer Saves Life” found more than 5,000 examples of stories and news reports of law enforcement heroes saving multiple thousands of lives while on duty, including the lives of thousands of infants, babies and children like in the example above in Sterling Heights.

At the same time they are saving lives, police officers are putting their own lives at risk. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have been 120 police officers who have died in the line of duty this year (including 29 from gunfire). At the rate so far this year, that would mean that we can expect 225 police officers to die this year, compared to 147 deaths last year. Over the last five years, 147 officers have died in the line of duty and 1,794 over the last decade. Historically, more than 24,000 US police officers have died in the line of duty.

An obvious question:

Q: If police departments are defunded and the number of police officers declines significantly, what will happen to the number of people whose lives are saved in the future by police officers, like the Sterling Heights cop who saved the life of a 3-week old infant last week?

A: Common sense suggests that the number of lives saved will decline.