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Thread: Officer Safety

  1. #1
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    Officer Safety

    During gun debates/discussions I'm frequently asked about "officer safety" or something similar. Instead of my typical response of "the state exists to protect the rights of people, not the power of the state", I'm just going to bring up the facts/figures.

    Here are the Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs of 2011:
    10. Truck Drivers - 21.8/100,000
    9. Garbage Men - 29.8/100,000
    8. Roofers - 32.4/100,000
    7. Mining Machine Operators - 38.7/100,000
    6. Coal Miners - 38.9/100,000
    5. Ranchers - 41.4/100,000
    4. Misc Extraction Workers - 64.2/100,000
    3. Pilots - 70.6/100,000
    2. Loggers - 91.9/100,000
    1. Fisherman - 116/100,000

    My job is #3...and Police Officers didn't make the list.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/44344096/Most...s_2011?slide=2

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    And in the last few years the MOST deadly part of an officer's job is .... driving.

    Statistics vary from year to year and depending on who's doing the researching, but the plain facts are that policing just isn't That deadly of a job.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 03-04-2012 at 06:16 PM.

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    That's a very misleading statistic. There are plenty of jobs out there that are more inherently dangerous than long distance truck driving. The difference is in the precautions, safety measures, and training geared to avoid mishaps that is involved. A high-voltage linesman is at FAR greater risk than a garbage collector. The reason the fatality rate isn't as high is because of the safety measures involved and the overall fewer number of people doing the job. Same applies to policing.
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    Regular Member okiebryan's Avatar
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    More tow truck drivers get killed in the line of duty than police officers. We keep getting run over by people who ignore our lights on the side of the road.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    1) If a job were to be 100% fatal to anyone who tried to perform it, but safety measures were so successful that no one performing that job had died in the last 200 years, ... then is it still a dangerous job since it's so safe?

    2) The number are standardized at x/100,000 (a common method used in statistics to prevent inaccurate projections.) One has only to look at column "B" in the supplied illustration to see the x/N numbers used.

    I'm not sure what you're using in place of logical thought, but I suspect it's not working out quite as well as you'd hope.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 03-04-2012 at 07:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    1) If a job were to be 100% fatal to anyone who tried to perform it, but safety measures were so successful that no one performing that job had died in the last 200 years, ... then is it still a dangerous job since it's so safe?

    2) The number are standardized at x/100,000 (a common method used in statistics to prevent inaccurate projections.) One has only to look at column "B" in the supplied illustration to see the x/N numbers used.

    I'm not sure what you're using in place of logical thought, but I suspect it's not working out quite as well as you'd hope.
    I have not at any time made a statement towards you that is insulting; even slyly so. Let's keep that mutual please.

    Danger is a subjective concept, not an objective one that can be nailed down by statistics. To me, danger inherent in something is not solely determined by fatality rate. Ergo, the potential of being killed nearly instantly by a high-tension transfer line is inherently more dangerous than the potential for being struck by a car and possibly suffering severe injuries as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by okiebryan
    More tow truck drivers get killed in the line of duty than police officers. We keep getting run over by people who ignore our lights on the side of the road.
    The same danger exists for police officers. If your assertation is true, however, my sympathies. The death rate in this country would be much smaller if people would simply use their heads when driving a car.
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kivuli View Post
    I have not at any time made a statement towards you that is insulting; even slyly so. Let's keep that mutual please.

    Danger is a subjective concept, not an objective one that can be nailed down by statistics. To me, danger inherent in something is not solely determined by fatality rate. Ergo, the potential of being killed nearly instantly by a high-tension transfer line is inherently more dangerous than the potential for being struck by a car and possibly suffering severe injuries as a result.



    The same danger exists for police officers. If your assertation is true, however, my sympathies. The death rate in this country would be much smaller if people would simply use their heads when driving a car.
    I see your point, but to make it real simple it's just a ratio...amount of people doing that job/by amount of deaths every job has training and people are naturally inclined for self preservation.

    Policing just isn't that dangerous when you look at it that way. I spend more time in life/death situations as a contractor/construction worker than the amount of danger people most (qualifier) officers spend in "dangerous" situations.

    If we were to look at how many officers, construction workers, fishermen died by their poor decisions I think we'd see a dramatic drop in all the professions.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kivuli View Post
    Danger is a subjective concept, not an objective one that can be nailed down by statistics. To me, danger inherent in something is not solely determined by fatality rate. Ergo, the potential of being killed nearly instantly by a high-tension transfer line is inherently more dangerous than the potential for being struck by a car and possibly suffering severe injuries as a result.


    The same danger exists for police officers. If your assertation is true, however, my sympathies. The death rate in this country would be much smaller if people would simply use their heads when driving a car.
    "Danger" may be a subjective concept but "Fatality" is not a concrete concept and can easily be measured. The statistics presented measure fatalities and unless you believe in zombies there are only two states to consider, "Alive" and "Dead". Since it's one of those binary things, it's quite easy to measure, put down a 1 for dead and a 0 for not dead. Add them up and compare to the total number of persons in the industry. Divide the number of fatalities per Number of population and you come up with a figure. It's very simple, very concrete and not subject to interpretation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    "Danger" may be a subjective concept but "Fatality" is not a concrete concept and can easily be measured. The statistics presented measure fatalities and unless you believe in zombies there are only two states to consider, "Alive" and "Dead". Since it's one of those binary things, it's quite easy to measure, put down a 1 for dead and a 0 for not dead. Add them up and compare to the total number of persons in the industry. Divide the number of fatalities per Number of population and you come up with a figure. It's very simple, very concrete and not subject to interpretation.
    Fatality ratio, however, is not the sole measure of overall hazard. To claim otherwise is logical fallacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by suddenvalleygunner
    I see your point, but to make it real simple it's just a ratio...amount of people doing that job/by amount of deaths every job has training and people are naturally inclined for self preservation.

    Policing just isn't that dangerous when you look at it that way. I spend more time in life/death situations as a contractor/construction worker than the amount of danger people most (qualifier) officers spend in "dangerous" situations.
    Every job has training, but if the number of roofers I saw not wearing a harness while I was an electrician is any indication, the parallel cannot be drawn without also taking into account the rate at which people FOLLOW that training. I'd wager the percentage of folks in the above listed professions follow all the safety precautions given at a much lower rate than officers follow theirs.

    Quote Originally Posted by suddenvalleygunner
    If we were to look at how many officers, construction workers, fishermen died by their poor decisions I think we'd see a dramatic drop in all the professions.
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Aside from the indisputable fact that LE is nowhere near the most dangerous job in the USA, there is the additional fact that the way most LE fatalities occur has NOTHING to do with encountering violent criminals. The VAST majority of LE fatalities (or major injuries) are TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS--usually cops getting hit by unattentive drivers while they stand on the shoulder of the road during a routine traffic stop. A fair number of cops are killed in high-speed chases due to their own bad judgement, or other drivers failing to yield in time.

    The number of LEOs killed in the line of duty by criminals is actually quite low, and this almost NEVER occurs during things like traffic stops, serving warrants, or routine "stop and talks". Most LE deaths that occur during interaction with criminals happen when the police have entered into a volatile situation with guns drawn and they initiate fire.

    And truth be told, more cops are injured by FRIENDLY FIRE or ND incidents during training on average than by guns fired by criminals, in the US... (granted, however, that there are VERY few ND-related deaths of LEOs--but there seem to be a disturbingly growing number of ND-related deaths of LAC's, caused by LEOs...)

    So if you look at the totality of deaths and major injuries in context, the simple fact emerges that most cops who get injured or killed are the victims of the negligence of non-involved people, their own negligence, or the negligence of fellow officers.

    Being a cop IS dangerous--because you are constantly doing stupid, dangerous things (like waltzing about on the shoulders of major highways at night), and because you are surrounded by trigger-happy, black-suited special forces wannabees who are looking for the next excuse to justify their multi-million dollar equipment budgets...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    Campaign Veteran ComradeV's Avatar
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    I would postulate that danger(or risk) must be looked upon objectively and via the use of statistics.

    Fatality ratio is however only one statistic involved in measuring this.

    One must take into account not only the probability of hazards but the inherent severity of possible risks.

    Death isn't the only hazard, severe injuries that lead to permanent damage are also a factor.

    The whole concept of risk mitigation in the jobs that LE perform clearly need more evaluation though.

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    Exclamation The Data Source CAN Be Important

    J'ever notice that different sources frequently report significant differences in statistical analysis of the same condition(s)? This thread provides us a good example: Marinepilot's top 10 list doesn't include LEO's anywhere... yet Fallsch's list has the LEO at 9 of 15. This is not all that unusual when we start searching for, and relying upon, statistics. About 30 percent of statisticians work for Federal, State, and local governments; private-industry employers include scientific research and development services, insurance carriers, and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing. A master's degree in statistics or mathematics is the minimum educational requirement for most jobs. The median annual wage-and-salary wages of statisticians is approximately $75,610.

    We are most familiar with the 'pollster' as statistician... when we even have the slightest idea of who collected, analyzed and reviewed a statistical sample prior to it's publication. The pollster is essentially a 'hired gun', retained to collect data that supports the position of their employer. That may sound somewhat devious, but the practice is no different than hiring a janitor to sweep, mop, dust and empty. They both do the job they are paid to do! There are no jobs that are purely altruistic in nature any more. Altruism doesn't feed the kitty. There are 'callings' and 'hobbies' that may provide one with basic sustenance and a great sense of personal satisfaction. But, the way that we keep score in our dollars and cents world, they don't pay much.

    Almost one-third of our practicing statisticians work in government and specific areas of private industry (according to one statistic, anyway). I'm guessing the other two-thirds work in professional sports, the poll taking industry, and in the "Would you like fries with that?" section of the fast food industry (alongside many law school grads and philosophy majors). How does one keep their job in almost any field of endeavor? They "go along, to get along". They recite the party line, and sing the company song. There are statistics to support any agenda - if not right this minute, then shortly after someone is hired to generate them. Math skills are required - ethics are not. Pax...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Aside from the indisputable fact that LE is nowhere near the most dangerous job in the USA, there is the additional fact that the way most LE fatalities occur has NOTHING to do with encountering violent criminals. The VAST majority of LE fatalities (or major injuries) are TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS--usually cops getting hit by unattentive drivers while they stand on the shoulder of the road during a routine traffic stop. A fair number of cops are killed in high-speed chases due to their own bad judgement, or other drivers failing to yield in time.

    The number of LEOs killed in the line of duty by criminals is actually quite low, and this almost NEVER occurs during things like traffic stops, serving warrants, or routine "stop and talks". Most LE deaths that occur during interaction with criminals happen when the police have entered into a volatile situation with guns drawn and they initiate fire.

    And truth be told, more cops are injured by FRIENDLY FIRE or ND incidents during training on average than by guns fired by criminals, in the US... (granted, however, that there are VERY few ND-related deaths of LEOs--but there seem to be a disturbingly growing number of ND-related deaths of LAC's, caused by LEOs...)

    So if you look at the totality of deaths and major injuries in context, the simple fact emerges that most cops who get injured or killed are the victims of the negligence of non-involved people, their own negligence, or the negligence of fellow officers.

    Being a cop IS dangerous--because you are constantly doing stupid, dangerous things (like waltzing about on the shoulders of major highways at night), and because you are surrounded by trigger-happy, black-suited special forces wannabees who are looking for the next excuse to justify their multi-million dollar equipment budgets...
    I would like to see the numbers backing these assertations up, if you have them available.

    Let us for the moment go with them being true. Most LEOs killed in the line of duty are from traffic crashes. It doesn't take much suspension of disbelief to go with that one, and I'm pretty sure it's true even without seeing numbers. There's a reason for that the simple statistics don't tell. When driving a car, you can only take so many precautions to ensure your own safety. Even if you do everything humanly possible, you STILL might be the victim of someone else's poor decision. Now, do many of those officers make a poor decision themselves that leads to an accident? I'll believe many of them do (though not all). I mention that to mention this: the reason those deaths are so much higher than deaths by criminals is because you can train, equip, and prepare to mitigate armed criminal encounters FAR more effectively than you can vehicle crashes.

    A lot of people intellectually understand the danger of driving a vehicle in an unsafe manner, but the vast majority of them get inside a rolling two-ton block of steel and get the warm, cozy feeling of being invincible. "Meh, that won't happen to me; I'm a good driver!", they think to themselves. So they don't take every precaution they might. Some even take outright stupid risks, be it born of impatience, inattention, or even just enjoying the "thrill". Our current crash statistics are the result.

    When confronting an armed criminal, there are multitudes of precautions and tactics you can take to minimize your risk, just the same as driving. The difference is that people not only intellectually understand the inherent danger in confronting an armed criminal, they also understand it primaly. "I might get shot!", they think to themselves, so they adhere to every possible precaution they can because we all know what happens when you get shot. Thus, much more of the risk is mitigated.

    However, none of that lowers the intrinsic danger of confronting an armed criminal. Truth is, people crash all the time and usually aren't injured, or if they are it isn't serious. Getting shot is FAR more likely to be a bad day than getting in a fender-bender.
    Last edited by Kivuli; 03-05-2012 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Spelling and Grammar corrections
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    No "suspension of disbelief" required, just less than a minute with a web-search engine.
    For the 12th straight year, traffic incidents remained the largest single cause of death for police officers in the line of duty in 2009

    Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
    Credit: Robert Benincasa and Alyson Hurt/NPR

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinepilot81 View Post
    During gun debates/discussions I'm frequently asked about "officer safety" or something similar. Instead of my typical response of "the state exists to protect the rights of people, not the power of the state", I'm just going to bring up the facts/figures.

    Here are the Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs of 2011:
    10. Truck Drivers - 21.8/100,000
    9. Garbage Men - 29.8/100,000
    8. Roofers - 32.4/100,000
    7. Mining Machine Operators - 38.7/100,000
    6. Coal Miners - 38.9/100,000
    5. Ranchers - 41.4/100,000
    4. Misc Extraction Workers - 64.2/100,000
    3. Pilots - 70.6/100,000
    2. Loggers - 91.9/100,000
    1. Fisherman - 116/100,000

    My job is #3...and Police Officers didn't make the list.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/44344096/Most...s_2011?slide=2
    #3 quickly becomes #1 if combat is included. The most dangerous "job" in the world was flying over Hanoi during the war--still the most heavily defended air space in history.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    No "suspension of disbelief" required, just less than a minute with a web-search engine.


    Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
    Credit: Robert Benincasa and Alyson Hurt/NPR

    But how many of those Firearms fatalities are self inflicted? LE has a quite high suicide rate.

    33 years ago when I was entering LE and was buying Life Insurance, my agent asked what I had done before LE. When I answered what I had been doing, he replied that if I were still doing some of my previous occupations, he could not write an insurance policy for me. Compared to LE they were considered very dangerous.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Objectively dangerous, or subjectively dangerous?
    Meaning was it actually deadly, or did people just think it was?

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    A danger is a risk. The greatest risk one can take is with ones life, you simply having nothing more you can loose once you loose your life.

    That is why fatalities as a measure of danger is perfectly cogent, and logical.

    There are plenty of other dangers, but none more severe.
    Last edited by Xulld; 03-05-2012 at 05:55 PM.

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    The "officer safety" excuse is a total canard and fallacy. Not only do police officers not have an especially dangerous job, even if they did, one would presume that police are paid precisely to assume risks the rest of the population is not required to (and paid quite handsomely, when one factors in benefits). There is no draft for police officers in this country; they may come and go as they please. If a particular police officer finds himself too scared to treat each person encountered as a citizen with rights to be protected, rather than as a civilian to be ordered into compliance, he should seek other employment, preferably in the productive sector.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    Objectively dangerous, or subjectively dangerous?
    Meaning was it actually deadly, or did people just think it was?
    Subjectively dangerous? that would be police work right?
    Don't believe any facts that I say! This is the internet and it is filled with lies and untruth. I invite you to look up for yourself the basic facts that my arguments might be based upon. This way we can have a discussion where logic and hints on where to find information are what is brought to the forum and people look up and verify facts for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    Not only do police officers not have an especially dangerous job, even if they did, one would presume that police are paid precisely to assume risks the rest of the population is not required to (and paid quite handsomely, when one factors in benefits). There is no draft for police officers in this country; they may come and go as they please. If a particular police officer finds himself too scared to treat each person encountered as a citizen with rights to be protected, rather than as a civilian to be ordered into compliance, he should seek other employment, preferably in the productive sector.
    The first part of this quote boggles my mind. Have you done police work? I'm sure if you add up the base salary and benefits of an NYPD officer they seem inflated to someone making 40k in an office job, but then again the cost of living in NYC is horrendous. I assure you the police officers in my area don't get paid anywhere NEAR that, benefits included. As well, the pay scale being so low for the purported risk is an anomaly, as law enforcement is a public sector career and thus not subject to private sector compensation logic. After all, the firefighters in my area get paid roughly the same and their job is just as dangerous. Everyone likes firefighters though, as they don't write people tickets. And to save you time, I'll add the inevitable response of "Firefighters don't infringe your rights either!" right now. That particular angle has already been covered extensively elsewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kivuli View Post
    The first part of this quote boggles my mind. Have you done police work? I'm sure if you add up the base salary and benefits of an NYPD officer they seem inflated to someone making 40k in an office job, but then again the cost of living in NYC is horrendous.
    The cost of living is just as hrorendous to the guy making 40k in an office job

    But how about Seattle? I used to live there; not nearly as expensive as NYC.

    http://www.seattle.gov/police/jobs/benefits/salary.htm
    http://www.seattle.gov/police/jobs/b...s/benefits.htm

    Recruits earn $24.56/hr at the Academy, then they start at $64,310.40 annually. 30 days after starting, they get medical/dental/vision/life insurance. They receive $550/year for a uniform allowance. They get union (and police) representation. Not a bad gig at all.

    As well, the pay scale being so low for the purported risk is an anomaly, as law enforcement is a public sector career and thus not subject to private sector compensation logic.
    You're right. In the private sector, they would be paid far less, because their job isn't very dangerous.

    After all, the firefighters in my area get paid roughly the same and their job is just as dangerous.
    Likewise, firefighters do not have that dangerous of a profession. In fact, they don't make the top-10 of occupational mortality. The pizza delivery kid is more likely to be killed in the line of duty than police or firefighters.

    EDIT: Oh, yeah, one of the other perks they receive is being able to reliably count on statist sycophants within the general population who will always leap to the defense of anyone wearing the uniform of the state's armed priesthood, protesting that their job is unbelievably dangerous and something we mere sheep can never comprehend, so we should just let the sheepdogs do as they will and be thankful for their beneficient protection.
    Last edited by ManInBlack; 03-05-2012 at 11:58 PM.

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    I see that I will never budge your opinion with calm discussion so I will cease to try. I shall agree to disagree.
    The Dogs of War are nothing compared to the Cats

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Well, in all honesty, facts would probably have been better to use, but we all choose our own methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kivuli View Post
    I see that I will never budge your opinion with calm discussion so I will cease to try. I shall agree to disagree.
    In other words, you can't argue with the numbers or statistics that I posted, and don't want to admit you were wrong. Okey-dokey.

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