Today is March 24th. It’s a deadly day for police offices, but no more so than many other days. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page forty three officers have lost their lives on this date, the first in 1902, when Cincinnati officer Henry Deering was struck by a street car. The most recent was Texas State Trooper Javier Arana, Jr., who died while assisting in a vehicle pursuit and struck another vehicle.
Although the first and the most recent such deaths were the result of traffic accidents, by far the most common cause of line of duty deaths on this date has been the result of gunfire. Twenty two times officers have been killed by gunfire on March 24th.
As is often the case, Texas leads the nation in line of duty deaths occurring on March 24th, with eight officers having perished on this date. Five of those Texas officers were killed by gunfire.
The deadliest date in March throughout history for peace officers has been March 3rd. Sixty eight officers have given their lives on this date. The most recent was just more than three weeks ago, when Detective John Hobbs with the Phoenix Police Department was murdered by a fugitive he was attempting to arrest. Despite being mortally wounded, Detective Hobbs shot and killed the suspect.
An old friend often says, “We don’t pay police officers and firefighters for what they do, but for what they are willing to do, when necessary.” Statistics prove that it is necessary more often than we would like.