Calling police officer safety the priority, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona said that programs like "Safe Today, Alive Tomorrow" that help prevent accidental deaths of police officers hold promise to prevent job-related tragedies.

"It's bad enough when an officer falls at the hands of a criminal," said Carmona. "Sometimes it is even tougher to understand when an officer dies needlessly on the job because of a car crash or a training exercise."

Founded by the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) and Honeywell's Spectra Technologies business, the safety awareness and training program "Safe Today, Alive Tomorrow," aims to reduce accidental deaths and injuries of police officers.

"These programs can make officers aware of key danger zones they face in even the seemingly routine aspects of the job," Carmona said.

"In work as dangerous as yours, safety is not a priority, it's the priority," Carmona told a group of police and tactical officers from the Washington, D.C., region.

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