ALBANY, N.Y. – Important training aimed at cutting down on the number of first responders killed in the line of duty took place on Monday throughout the country.
The training is known as “Below 100”, which has a goal to keep first responders safe while keeping the number of ‘line of duty’ deaths below 100 throughout the nation. The number of deaths has not been below 100 since 1944.
This is the first time the national training was held in New York at the State Police Academy. About 200 law enforcement members from federal, state, and local agencies participated.
Approximately 200 members of law enforcement from federal, state, and local agencies listened to a presentation and were trained how to reduce the number of police fatalities.
"What we're trying to get them to do is recognize that, hey you are important and you have to come home, you know to kiss the babies. You got to come home and kiss the babies and you got to come home and kiss the wife,” said Tommy Loftis, Below 100 coordinator.
The training tells crime fighters to remember five things: make sure you are wearing your seat belt, your bullet-proof vest, watch your speed, what's important now, and don't forget complacency kills.
“It hits home to all of us. We’ve all had personal experiences. We’ve all had losses on this job and that’s what this training if gonna do. It’s gonna give us the tools that we need to perform out jobs better, to keep ourselves safe, keep motorists safe, and serve the people of New York,” said Trooper Jason Jones.
In December 2013, State Trooper David Cunniff became the fourth from New York to be killed in the line of duty after being struck by a tractor trailer on the Thruway.
Trooper Cunniff was conducting a traffic stop and was inside his patrol car when the driver of the trailer lost control, hitting the Trooper’s car and partially ejecting him from the vehicle.
Lieutenant Colonel David McBath with the New York State Police said that Below 100 is a good number to aim for, but zero is even better.
“Unfortunately, in our profession, you can do everything right and still have a bad day. You do everything right, you do everything you were trained to do and maybe it’s just your time. This is very, very important to us and our goal today is to bring this training out to our folks,” said Lieutenant Colonel McBath.
National Police Week is next week and a local detail will escort the four families who lost loved ones last year in the line of duty, down to Washington D.C. While at the nation’s Capital, the families will put the names of their loves ones on the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Wall.