We can and will be making jokes about the year that was 2020. It sucked because of the pandemic. It sucked because of the hurricanes. It hurts because we lost so many great people including 13 public servants in the field of law enforcement.

Now, I don't know about your job but in the law officers' line of work, they truly have their lives on the line every second of every day. The men and women who take on that line of work understand the danger and they make the sacrifice to perform the duty.

I know my heart is filled with respect for those who serve us to keep the peace. My heart also breaks knowing that 13 law enforcement professionals lost their lives in the line of duty last year.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the 13 deaths are the most Louisiana has ever experienced. Nine of the deceased were believed to have contracted COVID-19 while on duty. Two other officers were killed in incidents involving firearms. Another two officers were killed in the line of duty in traffic-related incidents.

According to Marcia Ferranto, the CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 264 law enforcement professionals lost their lives in the line of duty nationwide during 2020. Again, COVID-19 was the major culprit in many of those officer deaths. Ferranto told media outlets that the year 2020 presented a 96% increase in the number of deaths in the line of duty for law enforcement professionals across the country.