Hundreds of people paid their respects to the corrections and law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty during a solemn Monday afternoon at the in Stillwater.
In 2010, 154 law enforcement and seven corrections officers died in the line of duty, Washington County Sheriff William Hutton said. Many Washington County officers worked closely with Maplewood Police Sgt. Joe Bergeron, who was killed on May 1, and "we knew Sgt. Bergeron's commitment to his family, his community and his fellow officers."
"Unfortunately, violence against corrections and law enforcement officers is on the rise," Hutton said. "Thus far in 2011 there is a 17 percent increase from 2010 in the number of peace officers who have given their lives in the line of duty."
Over the past several years in Washington County, Hutton said law enforcement officers have seen a "dramatic increase" in violence toward them.
"These are frightening statistics that affect us all," the sheriff said. "I am confident that each of us is doing whatever possible to leave our profession safely each day."