MACON, Ga. — This week, the nation has honored fallen law enforcement officers for National Police Week.
A new addition to that somber list: Sergeant Kelvin Ansari with the Savannah Police Department. He was shot and killed last weekend.
We all know law enforcement is a dangerous job, but we wanted to know whether there are more risks now than in the past, so we dug into the FBI's database on officers hurt and killed in the line of duty.
We examined data from three five-year periods: one from the late 1990s, one from the mid-2000s, and one from the mid-2010s.
The results showed, on average, a decline over time in incidents that injured or killed officers.
For example, FBI data shows that between 1996 and 2000, nearly 55 officers were killed in the line of duty across the country per year, on average.
Between 2003 and 2007, that figure dropped to just under 54 officer deaths.
From 2013 to 2017, it fell even further to about 46 officer deaths per year.
The average number of assaults with injuries and accidental deaths rose slightly between the late 1990s and mid-2000s but then also dropped between 2013 and 2017 to their lowest of the three time periods.
So we can verify that, while still high, those particular incidents, on average, declined.
But as last week's shooting makes clear, many say even one is one too many.
"We lost a great man," said Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter. "We lost a man who spent a substantial portion of his life protecting our country and protecting our community. We lost a husband. We lost a father. We lost a leader."