2007: Deadly year for law enforcement

Reporter: Allison Bybee

A new report released Thursday names 2007 as the deadliest year for law enforcement since 1989.

Florida ranks second in the country with 16 deaths. Four of those tragedies occurred right here in our area.

In just the last four months - in our region alone - four officers died while on the job. The deaths in our region, however, do not match the norm of the more than 150 deaths that happened this year nationally. Almost half died in traffic incidents, but that wasn't the case in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the concerns of police survivors released their preliminary report Thursday saying this was, in fact, the deadliest year for law enforcement.

This year: 186 deaths. Last year: 145 death. Both down from the record 277 in 1974. This year the reports states domestic violence and traffic stops most commonly led to fatal police shootings.

Texas led the nation with 22 fatalities and then Florida with 16.

On August 10, Broward County Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Reyka was fatally shot while investigating suspicious vehicles at a convenience store in Pompano Beach. This case remains unsolved and the reward leading to an arrest still sits at $267,000.

Then on November 7, Broward Sheriff's Deputy Paul Rein was shot and killed by prisoner Michael Mazza. Police say Rein was transporting Mazza in a medical van to the Broward County courthouse.

Lastly, on November 28, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputies Donta Manuel and Jonathan D. Wallace were struck and killed by another deputy's car who was pursuing a suspected stolen car. The men were attempting to remove tire deflation devices from a dark roadway near Pahokee.

At one time, officers were more likely to be killed in an attack than to die accidentally, but this year 60 percent of deaths were accidental.