Here’s the list of the most dangerous occupations.


10. Construction Laborers

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 215

9. Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 27

8. Farmers, Ranchers, and other Agricultural Managers

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 220

7. Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 748

6. Mining Machine Operators

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 16

5. Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 33

4. Roofers

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 69

3. Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 63

2. Fishers and Related Fishing Workers

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 27

1. Logging Workers

Total fatalities for 2013 (based on preliminary data): 59


I’ve read several reports on dangerous occupations and the closest to the top ten policemen rank is 14. Therefore, I’m not saying there’s no danger in being a policeman. What I’m saying is that everyone, citizens and policemen alike have bought into the notion that every policeman has to worry about getting home every night. And in our society, this fear of getting home, has become the theme song and excuse for shooting unarmed Black men. Yes, I know there are almost twice as many White people who get shot by policemen, but there are ten times more White people in America. If you do the math, you will realize that being Black in America highly subjects you, even though Whites outnumber Blacks, to the possibility of being shot by a policeman.

The police are the victims because they are put out on the streets suspect of damn-near every citizen they meet. Citizens are victims, especially Black citizens, because any move we make could get us killed. As citizens we should respect the police. We shouldn’t have to be afraid of the police. I remember the days you could flag down a policeman, when you were in trouble. The way things are going now, you’ll end up on the ground cuffed. If you resist, you could end up being shot. That isn’t “To Protect and Serve”. And to be honest it is probably difficult to protect and serve people if you’re unreasonably fearful for your life. That is why truthful information is important and shapes the way we think. It shapes our attitudes about how we go about our days and how effectively we communicate with one another.

For law enforcement the trend has been clearly downward in the last 40 years. Police work is getting progressively safer compared with historical averages: The fact is: being a policeman is not one of the most dangerous jobs you can have, according to statistics from the Bureau of Labor. In five years, 2008 to 2012, only one policeman was killed by a firearm in the line of duty in New York City. Police officers are many times more likely to commit suicide than to be killed by a criminal; nine NYC policemen attempted to take their own lives in 2012, alone. Eight succeeded. In 2013, eight NYPD officers attempted suicide, while six succeeded. 2013 had the fewest police deaths by firearms since 1887 nationwide.

The national figures vary widely from year to year. In 2014, police deaths in the line of duty, including heart attacks, spiked upward from 100 in 2013, to 126 in 2014. (The most recent numbers available)

From 1970 to 1980 police deaths averaged 231 per year.

1980 to 1989: police deaths averaged 190.7.

1990 to 1999: police deaths averaged 161.5.

2000 to 2009: police deaths averaged 165.

2013 to 2014: police deaths averaged 113.

So how many policemen are there? Nationally, in 2008, state and local law enforcement agencies employed more than 1.1 million persons on a full-time basis, including about 765,000 sworn personnel (defined as those with general arrest powers). Agencies also employed approximately 100,000 part-time employees, including 44,000 sworn officers.

In Boise, where I live, there has only been one policeman, Officer Mark Stall, killed in the line of duty, in the history of the Boise Police Department (1903). And even that’s one too many! I know the Chief of Police is out in the community, trying to get to know the leadership of the people of color in Boise. That’s a great step towards making Boise safe for everyone, citizens and policemen alike.

America needs to sit down and stop pointing fingers. We need serious discussion about misinformation and false perception. We need to discuss how misinformation and false perception has made both policemen and citizens victims. Shooting it out isn’t gonna work. Old procedures need to be updated and changed with the times. I want with all of my heart to value good policemen. I also want policemen to know that I matter to my family and friends.


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