Metro-East News

Police officer deaths on track to increase for third straight year

During the past month, the metro-east area has been hit with the deaths of two police officers.

First, St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder, an Alton-area native, was shot and killed on Oct. 6 while responding to a call in south St. Louis County. An 18-year-old St. Louis man has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with Snyder’s death.

Then on Oct. 28, Chester Police Officer James Brockmeyer was killed in a crash following a pursuit. A Chester man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the crash that killed Brockmeyer.

Snyder and Brockmeyer are two of 114 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty in 2016 in the United States, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

At the current pace, the number of officers killed in the line of duty is expected to increase for the third straight year. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, officer deaths are up 15 percent this year in the United States. The leading cause of that spike is an increase in firearms-related fatalities, which are up 58 percent.

Don O'Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND