Agencies aim to reduce police officer fatalities

Agencies aim to reduce police officer fatalities

NELSON COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - To date, 68 police officers in America have been killed in the line of duty this year. This staggering statistic has motivated a nationwide group to visit police departments across the country.

Below 100 visited Nelson County Sheriff's Office this week to share presentations and testimonies about the importance of officer safety, for everyone's sake.

The number of police officers in the United States, killed in the line of duty within a year's span, has remained above 100 since the 1940's.

Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly is well aware of the risk that comes along with the job.

"I want each officer to think individually and be safe," Mattingly said. "I've been doing this job for 20 plus years and my wife has been put through hell," he added.

Local officers killed recently, such as Jason Ellis, Cameron Ponder, Nick Rodman and Peter Grignon, drive the five points of the program home.

"Watch your speed, wear your seatbelt, wear both reflective and bullet resistant vests, consider what's important now and complacency in the job," Executive Director of Regional Organized Crime Center Steve Wright said.

The lessons also teach the importance of civilian safety.

Kimber Schlau travels with Below 100 and shares the story of her daughters, Jessica and Kelli Uhl, who were killed by an Illinois State Trooper in 2007.

"He was driving at 126 MPH, to a low priority call, while on his phone and computer," Schalu said. "He lost control of his car, crossed the median and hit my daughter's car the day after Thanksgiving."

Stories like Schlau's is another reason Mattingly continues to invite Below 100 back to Nelson County.

"If sitting in a four-hour class can make a difference or sitting in a yearlong class can make a difference, you know, I just want to make a difference," Mattingly said.

Schlau has documented her daughter's stories at www.kimberlyschlau.com.

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