2010 Deadly year for officers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

2010 Deadly year for officers

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - 2010 was the deadliest year for American law enforcement officers in two decades and 2011 is shaping up to be even worse. 

The first officer killed in the history of the Dougherty County Police department was gunned down two days before Christmas.  Lt. Cliff Rouse was investigating an armed robbery when he was shot and killed.

Police Chief Don Cheek says the killers have no regard for human life and don't care if those they kill are officers of the law. Already this year 48 police officers have died in the line of duty.  Some of them died in accidents, but many were murdered as assaults on officers take place more frequently.

When Lt. Cliff Rouse was gunned down just before Christmas, his death rocked the Dougherty County Police Department and the law enforcement community.  Chief Don Cheek said, "It's a devastating occurrence."

Police Chief Don Cheek says in his 40 years in law enforcement, he's seen a change in the way criminals treat police.He says it's clear that many of them have no respect of authority, and no sense of reality.  He said, "I really believe we've kind of morphed into a society that just doesn't seem to accept reality for what reality is."

On Tuesday, two police officers were shot in Athens.  One was killed before he even got out of the car.  Cheek said, "When these people will shoot at a police officer, they'll shoot at anybody.  When they resist using deadly force against law enforcement, the whole community is really at risk and that's the scary part and I don't see it getting any better."

Actually, it's getting worse.  This year may be deadlier than last year.  Cheek says criminals simply don't realize the impact of what they are doing.

He said, "It's just not real to them and that concerns me, that scares me."  A reality that should scare you too.

A memorial motorcycle ride is planned to raise money for the family of Lt. Cliff Rouse Saturday March 26th. It begins at 11 AM at Veteran's park in downtown Albany.

For more information, check out the facebook page for the Cliff Rouse Memorial Ride.

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