Remembering Lost Officers During Peace Officer's Memorial Week

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Police Officers say they're most likely to be injured or killed in traffic-related scenarios than any other situation and during National Peace Officer's Memorial Week, Wyoming Highway Patrol Troopers remind all drivers to respond properly when approaching an emergency vehicle.

Wyoming Highway Patrol Officers are injured multiple times a year and this week, officers killed in the line of duty are being remembered across the nation.

Law officers everywhere are wearing a symbol of remembrance for the officers they've lost.

Sgt. Rich Brown of Casper Police Department says, "there's actually a black band, you'll see a patrol officers and everybody within their department wearing them over their badge, that's just to recognize the sacrifice of the officers that have lost their lives this year and previous years."

Lieutenant Vincent of Wyoming Highway Patrol also wears the black band to show his respect.

He says he sees too many drivers not pulling over to give more space when an emergency vehicle is approaching.

Lt. Vincent says, "they know they should have, but they just didn't pull over for some reason."

Sgt. Brown says, "a lot of times, people are paying attention to other things, and at the last minute they look up and it's too late."

Police say the number of officers killed has decreased over the past year, but a good number of them could have been prevented with cautious driving.

"It's been lower, I believe in 2013 there was 105 officers killed nationwide and 22 of those were the result of an accident."

Lt. Vincent continues, "obviously if we're trying to get someplace, we need people to get out of our way. If we've got somebody stopped over on the side of the road, if they can, move away from us."

And if pulling to the side of the road isn't an option, there is something else you can do to cooperate.

Sgt. Brown says. "a lot of times they'll be in a situation where they can't pull over on the right of the roadway, and we just ask if you can't get out of the way that you just stop and not continue to move."

Whether you're driving in the city or on a highway, the key thing is to be aware of your surroundings and always obey traffic laws.

Officers say it's important to pull to the side of the road when approaching a parked emergency vehicle and if you can't do that, the next best thing is to slow by 20 miles per hour.
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