Everyday the men and women who serve our communities in law enforcement know the reality of their job. They know that by wearing that badge they are willingly putting their lives on the line to protect us. This has been a particularly difficult year for the law enforcement community in Louisiana because of that reality of the job.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. President and CEO, Craig Floyd recently spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network. He delivered the somber news in his comments that already in 2016 seven law enforcement officers have lost their lives in the line of duty.

We need to appreciate the fact that these men and women are out there serving and protecting, putting their lives at risk every day for our safety and our protection.

Floyd explained that this year one officer lost his life in an automobile accident. Two other officers were killed by vehicular assault. Four officers have lost their lives as a result of gunfire. The most recent being the three officers gunned down in an ambush style shooting in Baton Rouge.

These fatal incidents have placed Louisiana second on a rather sobering list. Our state ranks second in the number of police deaths in the line of duty for 2016.Only Texas is ahead of Louisiana in officer deaths for 2016. That state has lost 14 officers in the line of duty this year.

For those who don't quite understand what an incredible job our men and women of law enforcement do take a look at this statistic. Over the course of a year officers, deputies, and troopers will interact with the public over 62-million times. There are very few times when those interactions result in incidents that make headlines.

Floyd suggested that officers are always honing their skills when it comes to interacting with the public. They are constantly being trained in social interaction, safety, and ways to avoid life threatening situations.

Taser stun guns have been proved to reduce the injuries to officers and to the criminal suspects that they deal with dramatically.

I hope that you will remember that every time you see a patrol unit, a cruiser, or any law enforcement vehicle that there is a trained professional inside. A  professional that is often called Mom, Dad, Brother, Son, Daughter, or friend when they are out of uniform.  I think it is our duty to help protect the men and women who are sworn to help protect us.