Number of law enforcement deaths rose in 2014 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Number of law enforcement deaths rose in 2014

PORTAGEVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Police officers have more to worry about than just catching criminals.

The number of police officers that were killed in the line of duty more than doubled from 2013 to 2014.

According to preliminary statistics released by the FBI, 51 officers were killed while on the clock during 2014.

That is an increase of almost 89 percent when compared to the 27 officers killed in 2013.

Portageville officer Jennifer Hill knows there is always the chance she becomes a statistic.

"They may have a felony warrant for their arrest," Hill said. "They may have narcotics in their vehicle. We have no way of knowing that. We aren't mind readers. "

Hill believes, though, that is a risk she is willing to take.

"We can't hold back because, 'hey that's probably not a very good situation for us.' If we die in the line of duty then we went out doing what we wanted to do, you know, what I feel like I was designed to do," Hill said.

However, it is a whole different feeling when you are listening to your loved one respond to a call.

Hill's husband works as a police officer in New Madrid.

"Just like every other law enforcement wife, we've all had those early morning phone calls, just a regular telephone call to check in and all of a sudden, 'Babe I got to go, I got to go. I'll call you back. I've got a pursuit or I've got a man with a gun.' You hang up the phone and that's everyday conversations sometimes and you wait to hear back," Hill said.

Even with all her police training, hearing her husband in danger is something she can't prepare for.

"I'd like to think that he's kryptonite and no body can touch him and he's larger than life but I also know that anything can happen," Hill said. "We have five boys between us and that's five children without a father."

She prays that never becomes a reality.

"At the end of the day we want to go home, that's basically all we want," Hill said. "We want to do our jobs. We want to help, we want to protect, but we want to return home to our families."

The latest estimate of officer deaths is on par with the national average.

About 64 law enforcement officers were killed per year over the last 35 years.

The FBI reports the 2013 total of 27 was the lowest during the 35-year period.

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