'Fallen' documentary on police deaths

Years of increasing deaths involving police officers on the job led a group of police officers to film a documentary on the violence.

WACO - Years of increasing deaths involving police officers on the job led a group of police officers to film a documentary on the violence.

Waco Police Sergeant Patrick Swanton says it could not come at a more important time.

Director Thomas Marchese said they're hoping to release the documentary - entitled "Fallen" - this spring.  He said it's five years in the making and he just wants to dismiss a notion of police officers being robots.

"Every 53 hours, a law enforcement officer is killed in the United States of America," Swanton said.

He later added, "We don't come to work wanting to die.  We don't come to work wanting to take an individual human's life."

In the past three years, Swanton said line-of-duty police deaths have increased by 50 percent.  And between Monday and Tuesday, four police officers nationwide have been shot, including two in Houston on Tuesday at a burglary call.

That trend inspired director Thomas Marchese, a former homicide detective in California, to start this project five years ago.

"They're not robots," Marchese said.  "They have lives just like everyone else.  You know, this film goes into our personal lives and it's really, really revealing."

Swanton added, "We're not super men or super women.  We're simply people out doing a job to protect our communities and protect our families because they're part of this community as well."

The project tells the stories of officers who have died on the job around the country.  One of those is right down the road in Austin.

Half of the film's crew is current or former police and that's why they say their point of the documentary is simple.

"The point is two-fold," Marchese said.  "Commemorate for the families that have lost someone and get their message out.  The flip side to the coin is to educate for someone who maybe doesn't have that much, someone without a connection to law enforcement."

Educating people that they have more in common with these officers than they might think.

"We are you," Swanton said.  "We're just the men and women that decided to put on a badge and don the body armor and carry a handgun to try to protect you."

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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