The number of officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire increased 24 percent from 2008 according to statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. So far, forty-seven police officers have died nationwide this year, up from 38 for the same time in 2008.
Police officers are always under the threat of being shot by criminals but the spike in the death toll is overwhelming. What makes this statistics so difficult is that criminals have specifically targeted police officers. From a police officer gunned down in his patrol car in Penn Hills, PA while waiting for backup, to four officer shot to death in Oakland, California after a traffic stop, to the most recent incident in Seattle where four officers starting their day at a coffee shop being ambushed by an ex-con with a hand gun.
Times are tough these days with high unemployment, foreclosed homes and state budget cuts. However, law enforcement experts can’t really explain this increase in shootings.