Lots of people are at risk on the job. But when it comes to cops, they’re mostly a danger to others.
Defenders of the warrior cop in situations like the one in Ferguson, Missouri argue that all of these trappings of military occupation are necessary because of the oh-so-dangerous environment the police supposedly face.
Policing is not the country’s safest job, to be sure. But as the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows, it’s far from the most dangerous.
The 2012 data reports that for “police and sheriff’s patrol officers,” the Fatal Injury Rate — that is, the “number of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers” — was 15.0.
That includes all causes of death — of the 105 dead officers recorded in the 2012 data, only 51 died due to “violence and other injuries by persons or animals.” Nearly as many, 48, died in “transportation incidents,” i.e., crashing their cars.