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Officer Assaults Up Statewide, Down in Jackson

By Mallory Cooke
By mcooke@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.--The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the number of officers killed or assaulted jumped more than 3 percent from 2011 to 2012. The Jackson Police Department said their numbers are down.

“It’s a very dangerous job,” said Deputy Chief Barry Michael, with the Jackson Police Department.

In 2011, according to a new report from the TBI, 1,826 officers were killed or assaulted. In 2012 the number jumped to 1,883, according to the report.

“When you pull somebody over you never know who's sitting behind the wheel,” said Michael.

Michael said attacks on Jackson Police officers dropped the past three years. In 2010, the department says 62 officers were assaulted. In 2011, it dropped to 42 assaults. In 2012, the number dropped to 31 assaults.

Michael believes patrol dogs, trained to get suspects, help cut down on injuries. “The dog will actually fight with a violent offender as opposed to the officer having to,” he said.

About a year ago the department also added tasers. “Those tend to decrease not the number of officer attacks, but also the number of officers injured,” said Michael.

The TBI report states one police officer was feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2012. The officer was from the Memphis Police Department.

Jackson police said they had three officers killed in the line of duty. The most recent was Jackson Police Sgt. Andy Bailey in 2004.