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Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 10:13am

Ga. 5th In Police Officer Deaths

161 federal, state and local law enforcement officers have died on duty this year, representing more than a 30 percent jump over 2009. In Georgia, there have been eight. On Monday night, 38-year-old State Patrol officer Chadwick LeCroy was killed after trying to pull a suspect over on a traffic violation in metro Atlanta.

The new report on officer deaths is from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The organization’s Steve Groeninger says most troubling is the 'brand of criminal' officers increasingly have to deal with.

"There are criminals out there who do not hesitate to kill a cop, just for the sake to say they could kill a cop. And that’s absolutely one of the most troublesome dangers that our law enforcement face every day.”

Groeninger also says the down economy could also be a factor in officer deaths. Tighter state and local budgets cut into officer training, equipment, and workforce.

Texas has had the most officers killed this year with 18, followed by California (11), Illinois (10), Florida (9), and Georgia (8).

It’s been especially tough for the California State Patrol and Chicago Police Department in 2009—each with five deaths.