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News Scan

Law Enforcement Fatalities Up 13% in 2011: Greg Bluestein of the Associated Press reports 173 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in the U.S. in 2011, up from 153 the year before. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reported 68 officers were killed by gunfire in 2011, marking the first time in 14 years that firearm fatalities were higher than traffic-related deaths. Craig Floyd, the chairman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, blames the rise on budget cuts to public safety departments, which he says have put officers at risk. "Our officers are facing a more brazen cold-blooded element and fighting a war on terror, and we're giving them less training and less equipment they need to do their jobs safely," he said. The preliminary 2011 report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is here.

First Benchmark for California Prison Population Reduction:
Tuesday was the first benchmark date for California to reduce its prison population by approximately 33,000 inmates. As of December 14, the state's 33 prisons were at 169.2 percent of design capacity. Under the prisoner reduction order, California's inmate population must be at no more than 167 percent of design capacity by December 27, 2011. The press release from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is here. The CDCR has until January 10, 2012 to file the updated population report.

News Laws to Ring in the New Year: Valerie Richardson of The Washington Times reports the National Conference of State Legislatures issued on Monday its annual list of laws set to take effect in 2012. The press release from the NCSL is here

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