WASHINGTON – The shocking news that two Iowa police officers were
murdered in what appears to be ambush-style shootings has put an
exclamation point on one of the darkest weeks for law enforcement in
recent history. Since October 26, 10 law enforcement professionals
have died in the line of duty, including five who were shot to death,
as well as five who died in traffic-related incidents.
The news of these recent officer fatalities makes what has been an
especially tragic year for law enforcement all the more horrific.
Already this year, 115 law enforcement officers nationwide have died
in the performance of duty based on preliminary information-a 15
percent increase over the same time last year. However, even more
alarming is the fact that 52 of those officers were killed by gunfire,
which is a 58 percent spike over the 33 officers shot and killed at
this time last year. More officers have been shot and killed so far
this year than during any full year since 2011.
Like the Iowa murders, many of these shooting deaths of officers have
resulted from ambush-style attacks; all of them targeted simply
because of the uniform they wear and the job that they do. Sixteen
peace officers appear to be the victims of these fatal ambush attacks
already this year, which ties 2014 for the highest total of any year
in the last two decades. And, with the Iowa deaths included, there
have now been 40 officers shot and killed in ambush-style attacks
All of these tragedies remind us in very stark terms that
America’s law enforcement professionals are facing clear and
growing dangers on our behalf. And, when our police officers are at
risk, we are all at risk.
As we remember and honor the officers whose lives have been taken from
us, and grieve along with their families and colleagues, we pray and
hope that these very difficult times for law enforcement and our
nation will help to bring us all closer together in the name of
officer and public safety.
About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to telling the
story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who
serve. The Memorial Fund built and now operates and maintains the
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which
contains the names of 20,789 officers who have died in the line of
duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now building the
National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American
law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical
artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more
information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.