Deadly police ambushes at two-decade high: Report



The number of ambush-style killings of police officers in the U.S. reached a two-decade high this year, pushing law enforcement fatalities to their highest tally in five years, with 135 officers killed in the line of duty, according to a year-end report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Shootings were the No. 1 cause of death for law enforcement in 2016, claiming the lives of 64 officers including eight gunned down in two ambush attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in July. The report notes 21 of the officers were shot and killed in ambush-style attacks.

Firearms-related deaths were up 56 percent over the 41 officers killed by gunfire in 2015, but are still far below the all-time high of 156 officers killed by gunfire in 1973.

Since hitting a peak of 280 total line-of-duty deaths in the early 1970s, law enforcement fatalities have been on a general decline. But the total number of officers killed this year is the highest since 2011, when 177 officers died in the line of duty, according to the report published Thursday.

Public safety is a partnership and, too often, the service and sacrifice of our law enforcement professionals is taken for granted, said memorial fund President Craig W. Floyd. As we begin the new year, let us all resolve to respect, honor and remember those who have served us so well and sacrificed so much in the name of public safety.

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