Below 100 program aims to reduce law enforcement deaths

Published: Apr. 19, 2018 at 7:51 PM CDT
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Law enforcement deaths in the country haven't been below 100 in a year since 1943. A National program to reduce the number of deaths in the line of duty was launched in 2010.

This week, North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers were trained under the Below 100 program. They heard from an Illinois mother who lost her two daughters when a trooper crashed into their car while speeding to a scene in 2007.

Kimberly Schlau says her two daughters were killed by an Illinois trooper going 126 miles per hour the day after Thanksgiving.

She says talking about their story is therapeutic.

"I knew that the officer that killed them was driving to a crash but they didn't realize he had been on his phone. They didn't realize he had been on his computer. They didn't realize the speed he hit them. They didn't realize that all of those pieces led to Jessica and Kelli's deaths and this was a preventable crash and it didn't have to happen," said Schlau.

Jessica, 18, and Kelli, 13, were driving home when Schlau says suddenly the trooper crossed the median after losing control and crashed into the girls, killing them both.

She share's their story to honor their lives and help avoid this moving forward.

"A story that needs to be told and a story that needs to be heard by law enforcement," said Sgt. Chad Hermanson, NDHP.

Schlau hopes she's making her daughters proud.

"Those are my girls, they’re not just two highway statistics from 2007. They had hopes and dreams and they had a great life in front of them that got cut short that didn't need to be cut short."

She says she will continue to tell their story.

Her story is just one of the many told this week at the Below 100 event.

The program aims to teach law enforcement to be more safe while on duty and to watch their speed.