BY MARY MARSHALL
New Jersey ranks in the top 20 most dangerous states in the nation for police officers.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in preliminary statistics released Tuesday, the number of on-duty police officer deaths has risen for the first time in three years.
Preliminary data from the report revealed that nationally 67 police officers and law enforcement officials have fallen on-duty by this year’s mid-point. Comparatively, that is over a 30 percent increase from this time last year when there was only 51 deaths on-duty.
According to nj.com, New Jersey comes in at number 14 on the list of nationwide police fatalities. Two deaths of officers in the line of duty earlier in July were the first to occur since 2012, moving the Garden State higher up on the list.
The two most recent victims were 23-year-old Melvin Santiago of the Jersey City Department and 38-year-old Christopher Goodell of Bergen County.