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Statewide training effort aims to reduce police fatalities

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WATERTOWN — City and state police will take part in a training program designed to reduce the number of law enforcement officers killed on the job.

The Below 100 program, which is being hosted for the first time in New York, gets its name from the goal to reduce line-of-duty deaths nationally to below 100.

In both 2010 and 2011, there were 174 such deaths. In 2012, the first year of the Below 100 program, that number dropped to 120, the lowest in 50 years. Figures for 2013 are not yet available.

“The men and women of New York’s law enforcement agencies put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that they return home safely at the end of every shift,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement.

The last time there were fewer than 100 line-of-duty deaths was 1944.

The program focuses on driving and other skills necessary to handle dangerous situations properly. Five points in particular are stressed: wear your belt, wear your vest, watch your speed, WIN (What’s Important Now) and complacency skills.

“The New York State Police know first-hand the pain associated with losing a member,” state police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said. In 2013, four state police members died in the line of duty.

“We are pleased to host this training for the first time in New York and are confident it will save lives,” Mr. D’Amico said.

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