LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. - Bringing line of duty deaths to below 100. That's the focus of a program brought to the Lower Allen Township Police Department. It focuses on somewhat easy tasks in an effort to decrease the number of officers killed on the line of duty.
1993 was the last year LOD deaths in the United States were below 100. In 2011, a program called Below 100 was created to get those deaths below 100.
"Ultimately we want to go home at the end of our shift," said Ofc. Laura Tamanosky, Lower Allen Township Police Department. "And it's getting passed those complacent items that we need to be aware of on a daily basis. "
The Below 100 program, with help from PennDot was presented to the Lower Allen Township Police Department. It focuses on five different items:
- Wear your seatbelt.
- Wear your vest.
- Watch your speed.
- What's important now?
- Remember, complacency kills!
"A lot of people think, the seatbelt interferes with my gear or trying to get out of the car if I have to get out in a hurry," said Bob Schaeffer, Highway Safety Network project coordinator. "But they don't realize how it will save you in a crash. They don't realize when we're driving a vehicle that's the biggest weapon that a police officer has because a 4,000 pound bullet going down the street."
While there have not been a LOD death of a Lower Allen Township Police officer within the last 10 years, Ofc. Tamanosky says it was important to bring the program to the department to serve as a little reminder and refresher to officers young and old.
"I don't think anything is done of purpose," said Ofc. Tamanosky. "It's just we're getting ahead of ourselves forgetting those little minor details. Hopefully leaving here they're going to be in the forethought and made sure they're done before we get out on the road."
Since this program was started in 2011, LOD deaths have gone down every year, but it's not known how much of a role this program has played in the decrease.