Louisiana ranks second for the number of police officers killed in the line of duty this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. President and CEO, Craig Floyd, says seven Louisiana officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2016. He says we need to have more respect for our officers.

“We need to appreciate the fact that these men and women are out there serving and protecting, putting their lives at risk every day for our safety and our protection,” Floyd said.

Four of the officer deaths were by gunfire, two by vehicular assault, and one in a car accident. The report shows firearms related fatalities spiked 78% nationwide this year. Floyd says police officers interact with the public 62 million times a year, most of the time without incident.

“Of those 62 million contacts between the police and the public, force is either used or threatened by police less than 2% of the time,” Floyd said.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is working to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the public. Floyd says officers have better equipment and better training than they used to. He says more officers are using fewer lethal weapon and choosing items like Tasers to detain suspects, which gives them options other than kill or be killed.

“Taser stun guns have been proved to reduce the injuries to officers and to the criminal suspects that they deal with dramatically,” Floyd said.