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Police officer deaths lead to new training | News

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Police officer deaths lead to new training

Inverness, FL -- The statistics don't lie, the number of Florida officers killed in the line of duty is going up.

In 2009, eight officers from the Sunshine State were killed in the line of duty, according to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

Last year, that number grew to nine and already this year 11 officers have been killed.  That includes two St. Petersburg officers killed back in January as they attempted to arrest a wanted felon hiding in an attic.

That incident in particular has led to some new training at the Withlacoochee Technical Institute that officials hope will prevent another tragedy.

"I want them to think before they go up there and put a plan together before they go up there," Mike Kilian, the owner of Muddy Boots Tactical said after leading a group of officers through some training.

To best prepare the officers for the type of situation that claimed the lives of St. Petersburg K9 officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Tom Baitinger, a simulated attic has been built behind the Institute.

This week officers from 11 different agencies spent several days going over various scenarios including how to enter a crawl space.

The training was led by the staff from Muddy Boots Tactical while the simulated attic was built thanks to the help of the Black Diamond Foundation, Johnson-Smith Architects and Gulfside Contracting.

Nationwide, more than 140 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty this year.