And ultimately, if officers don't buckle up and they're in a wreck, officers are never able to help the public they're rushing to aid.
Beck has designated 2014 the "year of traffic" while departments in Nevada and Maryland have also created training videos. Over the last three years, hundreds of law enforcement agencies in more than 25 states participated in a program emphasizing seatbelt use among other safety measures to keep officer fatalities below 100 a year.
The California Highway Patrol implemented the program this year and has nearly 100 percent seat belt compliance.
"You have to write reports over and over on fatalities, and not wearing a seatbelt is always a factor," said John Hamm, who heads the union. "I mean what other education can you have?"
Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams