PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police officers put their lives on the line every time they put on a uniform. However, the biggest threat they face is not from a suspect with a gun or a knife – it’s from their patrol car.
Vehicle-related incidents are a top concern for local departments.
Mike Flanagan led Tuesday’s annual police officer training at the Delmont Fire Hall in Westmoreland County.
The mission was safety.
Around 150 officers die each year in the line of duty. Flanagan said many of those deaths could have been prevented.
“How we do it is by addressing areas that are under the control of the officer. Things like wearing their vest, watching their speed, making good decisions,” Flanagan said.
That’s where the Below 100 program comes in.
It is designed to help officers think before they act by sharing true stories of the dangers they face when responding to emergencies.
Delmont Police Chief Timothy Klobucar said speeding is one area that needs special attention, especially with his incoming officers.
“We are no different than the guy driving down the road. Even though we have the power with the lights and the sirens to be able to go through a red light, we still have to obey the traffic laws,” Chief Klobucar said. “We want to be able to respond to these incidents safely and be able to handle the situation at hand, in a safe manner in which everyone can go home at the end of the day.”