The National Fraternal Order of Police, the world’s largest organization of law enforcement officers, on Wednesday reported a record number of police officers shot and killed in 2021.
As of Tuesday midnight, the FOP recorded 314 officers shot in the line of duty — 58 of whom were killed.
“We are on pace this year to see the highest number of officers shot in the line of duty in one year ever recorded,” FOP president Patrick Yoes said in a Wednesday statement.
“We’ve already had more officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire this year than any other — and there is still one month left.”
Additionally, the FOP recorded 95 ambush-style attacks so far this year – a 126% increase compared to 2020 – that resulted in 119 officers shot, 28 of whom were killed.
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“There is no doubt that the recent erosion of respect for law enforcement has fueled more aggression towards police officers than what has been seen in previous years,” Yoes continued. “As violence continues to be aimed at law enforcement, our officers continue to show up every day to keep the communities they serve safe. These men and women run toward danger to protect the public when everyone else is running away.”
The FOP president then called on Congress to “address the terrible violence targeting our law enforcement officers and pass the ‘Protect and Serve Act’ to better protect the brave men and women who wear the badge and send a clear message to those who would seek to do them harm.”
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The bill introduced by more than a dozen Senate Republicans earlier this year would make it a federal crime to knowingly cause or attempt to cause injury to an officer.
Violent crime rose in major cities across the U.S. in 2020 while other less-serious crimes decreased amid the pandemic and national reckoning related to race and police violence.
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That trend continued into 2021 in some cities like Philadelphia; Baltimore; Portland; Washington, D.C., New York City and others.
Police have expressed concern with declining morale among officers and difficulty hiring new recruits as local governments look for ways to strengthen community-led efforts to fight crime.
Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.