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American News Dec 26, 2021 7:26 PM EST

Police officer deaths hit record high in 2021

"Ambush-style attacks" on police officers were up 126 percent at the beginning of December from the previous year.

Police officer deaths hit record high in 2021
Mia Cathell The Post Millennial

The number of police officers killed in the line of duty this year has hit a record high as law enforcement faces staffing shortages and skyrocketing crime rates.

More police officers have died in 2021 than any other year in US history, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Projections range from 358 to 477 (now 479) officers killed in the line of duty, Just The News cited. Both figures are still significantly higher than previous years.

Compared to 2020, firearms-related fatalities are up 31 percent and traffic-related fatalities are up 30 percent, according to preliminary fallen officer fatalities.

Federal Bureau of Investigation data shows almost 70 police officers have been feloniously killed in 2021—24 of which were victims of unprovoked attacks.

A November FBI report stated in its key observations that unprovoked attacks, where an officer is killed without having had official contact with the offender, "continued to outpace all other circumstances of felonious officer deaths."

"Ambush-style attacks" were up 126 percent at the beginning of December from the previous year, the Fraternal Order of Police reported.

"Nobody's getting arrested anymore," former New York Police Department detective Robert Boyce, a retired chief of detectives, told ABC News. "People are getting picked up for gun possession, and they're just let out over and over again."

A study over the summer on "elevated" police turnover found that law enforcement officers resigned at a 279 percent increased rate following the violent Black Lives Matter riots of 2020. Several of the largest US police departments reported a sharp increase in officer resignations in the wake of the massive George Floyd riots.

The latest killing occurred mid-month when a Baltimore officer, a devoted mother of four, was shot in a fatal slaying while she was sitting inside a patrol car. One week later, Officer Keona Holley died after she was removed from life support.

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