The number of officers killed or assaulted in San Diego County went up for the third straight year according to newly released numbers from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
Last year, 616 officers were assaulted. That number was up from 593 In 2012, and 555 from 2011.
The 2013 numbers are still lower than 2010 when 638 officers county wide were assaulted.
“I have seen an increase over the last few years of officers being assaulted,” said Chula Vista Police Officer Andrea Mayorga.
Mayorga was punched in the stomach by a robbery suspect recently adding her name to the growing list of 2014 assaults still being tallied.
“It just seems like there's probably a disregard for what we do, a lack of respect maybe," said Mayorga.
No local law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2013, still for every 100 officers in our county, there were 15 assaulted last year. That's more than 1 ½ times the national average.
“The message to our community is we need the resources necessary to deal with these assaults. We need to be properly equipped, properly staffed, and have proper communication systems” said San Diego Police Sgt. Jeff Jordon who is also Vice President of the San Diego Police Officers Association.
Jordan can't point to one reason for the uptick - but believes everything from the release of prisoners through AB 109 to the exodus of experienced officers in his department plays a role.
“Part of the way to avoid some of these assaults, it comes from experience, it comes from the ability to talk to people. it comes to being able to avoid confrontation, talk people down from confrontation. and you don't get that in your first couple years of law enforcement" said Jordon.
Across the jurisdictions, the City of San Diego reported 251 officer assaults in 2013, followed by the Sheriff (196), Escondido (64), Oceanside (34), La Mesa (16), Chula Vista and El Cajon (both 23), the Harbor Police (6), Carlsbad (2), and National City (1).