What’s going on here? Police begin wearing blue W.I.N. wristbands
What it is:
Area police officers will be sporting a new accessory: a dark blue wristband with the initials W.I.N., as part of a safety awareness campaign.
The bracelet is one element of a national drive to reduce police officers’ on-the-job deaths to less than 100 annually — a benchmark not seen since 1944, according to figures compiled by the Washington-D.C.-based National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Last year, 163 officers died on the job. Of that tally, 70 died in firearms-related incidents while 59 were killed in traffic crashes.
The blue wristbands’ initials, W.I.N. is an abbreviation for “What’s Important Now?” — one of five safety tenets. The other four remind officers to wear their seatbelts and bulletproof vests, watch speeds while driving and never get complacent about the job, because “complacency kills.”
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial has compiled records showing that 19,660 law officers have died on the job since 1791, of which 550 were in Michigan.
The good news? So far this year, there’s been a 44 percent drop in on-the-job fatalities nationally, with 53 officer deaths.
People can help keep officers safe by obeying traffic laws, pulling off to the right side of the road if you see emergency vehicles approaching with lights and sirens operating, moving one lane away if your see emergency vehicles on the side of the road. Drivers who get pulled over by police for any reason should allow extra room on the road’s shoulder for officer safety, put the vehicle in park, turn off the engine (and radio) and turn on the vehicle’s emergency flashers.
Learn more about the blue wristbands and the Below 100 campaign, started by Law Officer magazine, at below100.com/home.