The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund has released a report showing that the number of police officers killed in the line of duty by firearms has risen 78% compared to 2015. The number of police officers killed in anti-police ambushes has risen 300% in the same amount of time. More than half the officers fatally shot this year were murdered during these ambushes. Texas and Louisiana are by far the most dangerous states for police with 20 officers killed so far this year.
Through July 22nd, 67 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. Only 21 of these deaths were not the result of what police call “felonious incidents”.
These numbers show that 2016 was the first year that traffic related accidents were not the leading cause of death among on-duty police officers. In a 12-day span in the month of July eleven officers were lethally shot. Three officers were killed during an anti-police shooting in Baton Rouge, LA, five officers were slaughtered in Dallas, TX, two baliffs were murdered at at court house in Michigan, and another officer was fatally shot in the back of the neck in Kansas City, Kan.
A majority of the murders this year happened in July. The rest of the year also indicated an increase in anti-police violence. The number of officers killed in the first three months was more than double the number of officers killed in the first three months of 2015.
Police officers, and those related to police officers, state that the recent rash of attacks against police has put all officers on edge. Several police have cited concerns about being followed and taunted by belligerent anti-police civilians. Some have even started carrying their firearms in situations when they normally wouldn’t for fear of they could be the victims of an attack.
Several police departments have taken steps to increase security and protect officers while on duty. Many departments are prohibiting officers from working alone and require them to be with a partner at all times. The NYPD has also announced that it will be spending $7.5 million to supply officers with protective gear such as new bullet proof vests and ballistic helmets to wear on patrol.