KEMPER CO., Miss. (WTOK) - The dangers law enforcement officers experience on a daily basis continues to reach new heights.
The recent shooting of a local officer in the line of duty has reminded locals on the risks officers face when protecting the community.
"The dangers for a law enforcement officer period with this day and time is to the extreme,” Kemper County Sheriff James Moore says. “You can take any situation where you think is just a routine traffic stop, where you could be fighting for your life."
In an attempt to keep officers safe, Kemper County Sheriff James Moore says his department must wear safety vests at all times while on duty.
Officers have the option to wear two types of vests, under or over your clothes with the option to add an additional metal shield.
"Here we have the option for officers that want to wear a protective vest. Some officers will wear their vest under their normal shirt and you have some officers that have their vests as an outer shell that hangs out over their shirts," Sheriff Moore says.
Moore says his officers are well trained to minimize risks before force is involved, but even a routine response can take an unexpected turn.
"And that should always be in your mind. And as a sheriff, you should always try to drill that and beat it into your officers' minds too because at the end of the day you would hope that the citizens are safe and at the end of the day that officer goes home to his family safe as well," Sheriff Moore says.
According to Officer Down Memorial, odmp.org, 37 officers have died in the line of duty by gunfire in 2017.
One was in Mississippi earlier this year in Lincoln County, and none so far in the state of Alabama.