ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police this week are receiving "Below 100 Training," a national initiative aimed at reducing police officer deaths in the line of duty.
According to the training information, it's been more than 65 years in America since the annual number of police officers killed in the line of duty was less than 100. They hope 2015 is the first year to break that deadly record.
Albany Police Corporal Roger Jones gets back on the road after undergoing the Below 100 Training. "It reminds you every day how important the seat belt is. As well as just obeying the traffic laws as a police officer as well."
The training reminds law enforcement that complacency kills, and the basics save lives. Albany Police Sergeant William Dowdell said "Wear your seat belt. Wear your vest. Slow down."
The training reminds that for the last decade the most deadly part of the law enforcement job every day is traveling in a car.
Dowdell said "Nine of those years traffic crashes and collisions. Whether is be struck by a vehicle or whatever it was, those have been the leading cause of in line duty deaths."
So, the initiative is to get police officers to slow down, even during emergency responses. And to wear their seat belts, which many police officers don't do. Some say they are too uncomfortable with their gun belts, some worry a seat belt will slow them down getting out of their car.
Corporal Jones says he has heard that from other officers, but now will wear his seat belt every day. "We need to have it. It's something we need to do."
The training urges police to remember they can't help anyone if they have crashed their car speeding on the way to an incident, especially if it's a fatal crash involving them.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 56 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty so far this year, including Montgomery County Sheriff Ladson O'Connor, who died in a car crash during a pursuit yesterday.