Slayings in nation raise concerns for Oklahoma police officers
Recent random killings of law enforcement officers across the country have led to a spate of calls to Oklahoma City's police chaplain.
Spouses of patrolmen particularly are concerned.
Their increased anxiety comes after shootings of police in Abilene and Harris County, Texas, among other places, said Greg Giltner, chaplain for Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 123, which represents Oklahoma City officers.
Even though there have been fewer firearms-related deaths of officers so far this year compared to last, several killings in recent weeks have boosted concerns.
Charles "Joe" Gliniewicz of Fox Lake, Ill., was the eighth law officer shot and killed in the U.S. in the past month and the fourth in 10 days, according to the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks officers' deaths so their names can be enshrined on a Washington, D.C., memorial.
Incidents on the rise
So far this year, there have been 26 officers killed in firearms-related incidents, compared to 31 at this time in 2014.
Giltner, who retired after 26 years in the police department, has been the lodge chaplain for the past 12 years.
"I worked the streets for 12 years. In the early 90s, we had a lot of gangs move in from L.A. and several officers had hits on them, but we knew where they were coming from. We weren't picked off like lambs led to a slaughter," Giltner said.
"Last year was our most violent year ... since I've been on. We had five officers shot and a K9 unit killed," he said.
About 25 police officers fired their weapons in 18 incidents last year, and there were several individuals who died in custody, Giltner said.
Until recently, Giltner said he was getting about three phone calls a week and most were related to marriage or financial issues. Suddenly, he's flooded.
"Now, it's every night. I'm getting messaged on Facebook. Every night, I'm getting text messages. Every night, I'm getting phone calls," he said.
"They're concerned about the lives of their officers," Giltner