Managing the Complex Issues Involved with Line-of-duty Death

On 25 March 2002, an Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officer died of complications from a gunshot wound received while serving a search warrant. The Enforcement Section had no formal guidelines related to line-of-duty deaths at the time the officer died. Agencies should be prepared to deal with line-of-duty deaths and have formal guidelines in place to aid the agency in effectively managing the multitude of issues involved. Fish and wildlife enforcement is a high-risk profession and every agency has faced or will have to face this reality. According to the organization Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS), over the last decade an average of between 150 to 165 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty each year. By sharing these guideline for handling line-of-duty deaths, agencies will be better prepared to deal with this traumatic event in a manner which will minimize the trauma and aid in the recovery process.

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