Indiana lost one officer in first half of 2016

(Photo Supplied/Indiana News Service)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO/Indiana News Service): The recent ambush attack that killed five Dallas police officers contributed to a spike in deaths of those across the country sworn to serve and protect their communities.

As of July 20, according to a biannual review from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 67 federal, state and local officers died on the job, an 8 percent increase from the same time period in 2015.

Steve Groeninger, senior director of communications for the Memorial Fund, said Indiana has lost one officer so far this year.

“Howard County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Carl Koontz was killed in March of this year,” Groeninger said. “He was shot and killed while attempting to serve a pair of drug-related arrest warrants.”

The sheriff’s department will hold a golf outing Aug. 12 in Kokomo to raise money for a scholarship fund in Officer Koontz’ name.

Groeniger said most people don’t realize what it’s like to be a member of law enforcement.

“A lot of us have struggles at work, or we have challenging commutes to get to the office and get home and whatnot,” he said. “But these men and women face many of those issues, as well as knowing at any time they could be targeted because of what they do and what they represent, being the rule of law.”

Nationally, 32 officers have been killed this year in incidents involving a firearm, and there were 24 traffic-related fatalities. The most fatalities occurred in Texas, with 11 officers killed, followed by seven officer deaths in Louisiana.

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