2021 was the deadliest year for U.S law enforcement personnel, with 458 police officers being killed in the line of duty, as reported by LawEnforcementToday.com.
Before 2021, the highest number was 312 officers being killed in the line of duty, a grim number from 1930.
The 2021 figure represents a 47% increase over the previous highest number of 312 officers being killed in 1930.
While it appears that more officers died in the line of duty from Covid than any other cause for the second year in a row, there were significant increases in all categories of officer fatalities last year.
The number of officers killed by gunfire (62) rose by 38% over the total in 2020; traffic-related deaths (58) also increased by 38%; and the “other” category of death (338), which includes Covid and other job-related illnesses, jumped by 63% over the 2020 total.
The overall preliminary officer fatality figure for 2021 (458) represents a 55% increase over the 295 officers who died in the line of duty in 2020.
The National Fraternal Order of Police tracks the number of officers shot (fatal and non-fatal), and the circumstances of those shootings.
They have reported that 346 officers were shot in the line of duty nationwide in 2021, including 130 officers who were shot in 103 ambush-style attacks (a 115% increase from 2020).
Meanwhile, the number of police officers retiring or taking early retirement has also increased by a whopping 45%. Resignations are up 18%.
The U.S now has the fewest number of law enforcement officers per resident in the last 25 years.
Craig W. Floyd, CEO of Citizens Behind the Badge, said:
‘The fact that there are fewer officers with less experience to prevent violent crime and serve as back-up to other officers in harm’s way makes an officer’s job today more dangerous than ever.
‘With all of this heartbreaking and alarming news as backdrop, it is shameful and despicable knowing that some elected officials at the federal, state and local level of government continue to push for “defunding the police” and preventing agencies from getting the personnel, equipment, training and technology necessary for officer safety and public safety.’
Many of the cities which called for the police to be ‘defunded’ are now seeing crimes rates skyrocket, as there are fewer officers to deal with more crime.
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