331 Law Enforcement Officers Shot in 2022, 62 Killed: Police Union

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
January 17, 2023US News
331 Law Enforcement Officers Shot in 2022, 62 Killed: Police Union
New York police officers salute during the funeral for officer Wilbert Mora in N.Y.C., on Feb. 2, 2022. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

A total of 331 police officers were shot last year while on duty, a 13 percent increase from 2019, according to the latest figures released by a police union, which also included a state-by-state data breakdown.

The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) announced in a report that of the law enforcement officials who were shot, 62 were killed, a 32 percent increase from 2020. The total number killed in 2021 was 63, an increase of roughly 34 percent from 2020 when 47 officers were killed in the line of duty.

With more than 364,000 members, the fraternal organization that consists of sworn law enforcement officers is considered the largest police union in the country, as well as the world, according to the foundation’s website.

According to the report, Texas, with 29, tops the list for the most officers shot in the line of duty last year. Arizona followed with 21, then Georgia with 18, followed by California, Kentucky, and North Carolina, with 16 each.

The states where no police officer was injured by gunfire last year are Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont, as well as the U.S. territories of American Samoa and Guam.

Many law enforcement officials were shot in “ambush-style attacks,” the foundation revealed. There were 89 different “ambush-style attacks” in 2022. A total of 126 officers were shot in these types of attacks, “32 of whom were killed by gunfire.”

The FOP also noted that the listed statistics do not include “the countless incidents” where a police officer was shot at but did not get injured.

Authorities have described “ambush-style attacks” as one of the worst kinds of attacks. Premeditated ambushes are perpetrated without any warnings and intended to deprive officers of their ability to defend themselves.

“Premeditated ambush-style attacks are particularly disturbing and pernicious,” the FOP stated, noting that these types of attacks have been attributed to a “desensitization to evil acts” that were once considered to be taboo.

FOP Blames ‘Cynical Politicians’ and ‘Pandering Prosecutors’

Responding to the latest figures in a message on Twitter, FOP President Patrick Yoes labeled 2022 as “one of the most dangerous years for law enforcement” in recent history.

Yoes said the recent uptick in violence against law enforcement, as well as the crime crisis in general nationwide, is a result of criminals feeling “emboldened by the failed policies of pandering prosecutors and cynical politicians.”

In another statement, Yoes said last year that the number of attacks on police officers is “the worst I have seen in my 36 years in law enforcement.”

“When police are viewed as the bad guys, criminals feel emboldened,” Yoes said. “When rogue prosecutors hand out slaps on the wrist to serious offenders, criminals understand they will face no significant consequences for their actions.”

“Police officers should be more engaged in their communities, not less,” he continued. “Enforcing the law for ‘minor’ or ‘nuisance’ crimes also shows these communities that the police are invested in keeping the neighborhoods safe for them and their children. It sends a message that criminal behavior of any kind will not be tolerated.”

The worst year for attacks on law enforcement since the FOP started recording data in 2015 was two years ago.

In 2021, of the 346 officers that were injured by gunfire in the line of duty, 63 were killed, according to the report. These figures are significantly worse than in 2019, when 50 officers died and 243 got injured.

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