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Safety Groups Seeks To Decrease Officer Fatalities

  

Sacramento-area law enforcement agencies could reduce the number of officer injuries and deaths each year, according to organizers of a safety training event held in Roseville Wednesday.

About 300 officers and their spouses listened to stories like Susan Moody's.

"Brad died in 2.2 second," says Moody, who is a trainer for the safety group Below 100. Her husband died in 2008 when he lost control of his Richmond, California Police cruiser on a wet road and hit a pole. He had been speeding and was not wearing a seat belt.

"This training is super important because it trains these officers that keeping safe and wearing their seatbelt and wearing their vest and slowing down and just understanding what's important now and what's in front of them now will help save them," says Moody.

Kim Schlau is also a Below 100 trainer. Her talk focuses on other people who are endangered by an officer's high-risk behavior.

She says,"My part of this is to talk about my daughters who were killed in 2007 by a speeding Illinois State Trooper, driving 126 miles-an-hour to a low-priority call while on his phone and on his computer, lost control, crossed the median, hit my girls."

Placer County hosted the event. Devon Bell is the Undersheriff.  

He says,"If this is a catalyst to start that change in culture and if we can have one person slow down, put on their seatbelt, assess what's important now and save a life then it's worth bringing all these people into the room."

According to Susan Moody, presentations like this have already saved lives. They include a young New York deputy whose department had not been wearing seatbelts until he attended a Below 100 training. 

"I asked him to please have that culture changed at his department and put on the seat belts," Moody says. "Two weeks later he was involved in an accident and that seatbelt saved his life. The doctor told him, because he had a seatbelt on, he's here."

Below 100 is a non-profit organization that has a goal of reducing officer fatalities to fewer than 100 per year. The last time that happened was 1943.