COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ever since George Floyd’s death four years ago, there’s been heightened awareness of tensions with police.

What You Need To Know

  • According the Officer Down Memorial Page, more than 60 officers across the country have been shot to death each of the last few years

  • Three separate incidents occurred in central and northeast Ohio ending with the police fatally shooting three suspects, while two officers were shot, including Euclid officer Jacob Derbin, who died

  • The director of Cedarville University's criminal justice program believes the police and community relationship should be a partnership

According to the Officer Down Memorial page, just over 60 officers across the country have been shot to death in each of the last several years, and this year is on track to match that total.

“So this is the reality of the dangers our officers face,” said Brian Steel, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital Lodge 9. 

And once again, Steel and his colleagues saw those dangers become a reality over the weekend.

“It is two days in a row. It just shows that violent crime is still a problem. Attacks on police is still a problem in society,” said Steel. 

Three separate incidents in central and northeast Ohio ended with police fatally shooting three suspects. Meanwhile, two officers were shot as well including Euclid officer Jacob Derbin, who died.

“It’s a moral decline in our society. And so I think that's really what contributes to it. People are not as kind as patient, as compassionate, and not as respectful of those who wear the uniform,” said the director of the Cedarville University Criminal Justice program, Patrick Oliver. 

Oliver said he’s seen the relationship between police and communities change over the years from what used to be a partnership to what now can be adversarial.

“Police want the community members to see them as their partners. I the fact that all communities across America, the police are the community and the community are the police. Police give full time and attention to responsibility,” said Oliver. 

Despite shootings by police over the last few years leading some people to lose trust in law enforcement, a poll by Quinnipiac University in 2023 found nearly two thirds of respondents trust that police do what’s right most of the time. Daniel Flannery, the director of the Begun Center for Violence and Prevention says he believes solving the problems starts with getting guns off the street.

“We have an increased number of firearms out on the streets with people able to carry and concealed carry without a permit or without training,” said Flannery.