A spokesman for the Cheyenne Police Department says assaults on police officers in the city increased by almost a fifth last year compared to the year before.

Officer Dan Long says officers had to use force on 218 people in making an arrest last year. He says 169 of those people actually attacked a police officer, an increase of 19 percent from 2014.

Among the incidents last year was a September incident on Cribbon Avenue in which Officer Lisa Koeppel was attacked by a man who had been fighting with another man in the street at 1:30 a.m. Long says the suspect got on top of Officer Koeppel and began hitting her in the face. But the officer was able to activate the remote door release on the cage holding K9 Capo, who was able to subdue the suspect even though the dog was kicked several times.

Another incident in December included an attack by a burglary suspect with a piece of exercise equipment on a female police officer who was investigating a burglary. That suspect fled the scene and was soon arrested.

Long says both of the officers attacked in those incidents were treated for injuries at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center but were not seriously hurt. Fortunately none of the other police officers involved in physical confrontations suffered a serious injury.

Long says the increase in assaults on officers in Cheyenne mirrors a disturbing national trend of increased violence against members of law enforcement. He says locally every time an officer uses force the department reviews the incident to make sure the force was justified and whether the officer handled the situation properly.

The department is currently reviewing the incidents from last year  to see what training needs to be implemented so they can handle such confrontations effectively.

He also says the department has a "use of force" simulator that test how officers respond to realistic scenarios involving the use of force.