Murders and attacks against law enforcement officers in the United States sharply increased in 2016, according to a report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday.
The annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report showed that 118 officers were killed in the line of duty last year, 66 of which were intentional felonious attacks. In 2015, 41 officers were feloniously killed while on duty. Additionally, assaults on police officers increased from 50,212 in 2015 to 57,180 in 2016.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a statement shortly after the report was published, saying “Every law enforcement officer goes to work knowing that today might be his or her last. But last year, we saw a staggering 61 percent increase in the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty because of a felony, and on average, more than 150 officers were assaulted in the line of duty every single day. These numbers are as shocking as they are unacceptable.”
“Our law enforcement deserves the support of the people they serve. Fortunately we have a President who understands this. President Trump ran for office as a law-and-order candidate; now he is governing as a law-and-order President.” He wrote.
According to the FBI, the average age of an officer killed while on duty was 40 years old, with an average of 13 years of law enforcement experience. Nearly all were killed by firearms—62 out of 66—and the most common form of attack was an ambush.
The statistics correspond to other reports issued recently which show an increase in violent crime and murders in general across the United States during the same time period.
Officer fatalities have fluctuated over the years, spiking and then falling off, but have continued on a general downward trend since the 1970s. The deadliest year for law enforcement officers in the U.S. was 1930, when 307 officers were killed while on duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Image courtesy of the FBI