Calif. Highway Patrol copes with deaths

Feb. 28, 2006 at 7:51 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The California Highway Patrol is on a 48-hour "stand-down" to determine if changes are needed following the deaths of six officers in five months.

The most recent casualty, John Bailey, was on his way home Saturday night in San Bernardino County when he pulled over a driver he believed to be drunk. Another car, also driven by a suspected drunk, hit him.

The other deaths include two officers who were shot, two killed in incidents involving drunk drivers and one killed in a chain-reaction crash. Bailey's death on Saturday came two days after the funeral of Earl Scott, who was gunned down during a traffic stop near Modesto.

"It's been a very rough several months," CHP Commissioner Michael Brown told the Los Angeles Times. "We've never seen the frequency of incidents with this kind of result."

Brown said that officers will continue normal patrols during the stand-down. But they will also be offered grief counseling and will have debriefing periods with their commanding officers when they can discuss ways to make the job safer.

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