2016 began quietly for law enforcement with no officers killed in the line of duty over the first two weeks. But then, things took a turn for the worse.
Following the January 17 killing of two police officers, 12 other officers have died in the line of duty.
In one particularly disturbing week, 7 police officers were killed with 5 officers shot to death in the span of 24 hours.
So far this year, a total of 14 police officers have died or been killed in the line of duty. That number represents a decline of 18% from this point last year.
Far more shocking, however, is the fact that 11 of those officers have died as a result of gunfire. That number represents an astounding 1100% jump from this time last year.
Earlier this year, Case County (ND) Sheriff Paul Laney said, "People are hunting us. How do you think that sits with us? But yet we wear this badge with honor and pride and we're going to go out every day and protect our communities."
Americans in Support of Law Enforcement president Scott G. Erickson commented, "While it's still too early to say if the recent spate of unprecedented violence against our nation's police officers is part of a larger trend or just a tragic coincidence, it's fair to say that ongoing public hostility toward law enforcement continues to make the American police officer's job more challenging and dangerous."
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