The number of police officers shot and killed in the U.S. this year has increased 44%, according to Columbia Police Officers Association Executive Director Dale Roberts. He says the attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge are also alarming.
“Concerned to say the least. I think they’re distressed and alarmed at what’s going on. They feel like there is a war on cops now,” says Roberts. “This business of being ambushed, shot in the back of the head, shot in your car when you’re sitting there, shot from a sniper up in a parking tower, that’s Fallujah. That’s not police work. That’s just completely unheard of.”
Roberts says the department now requires officers to work in pairs.
“Our officers know fear, but they are not afraid,” says Roberts. “They stand between citizens and violence. That’s their job.”
St. Louis police are also working in pairs until further notice. They must also wear protective vests while on duty.
A police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ballwin was shot in the back of the neck one day after the Dallas attack. Officer Michael Flamion was shot during a traffic stop. His injuries have left him paralyzed. Authorities say that Antonio Taylor of St. Louis ambushed Flamion.