After a particularly violent week for police across the U.S., four officers have lost their lives, and 16 have suffered gunshot wounds since Monday of last week.
According to the Officer Down Memorial website, 56 officers have been killed by gunfire in 2022. That is a 10% increase from last year and about 45% ahead of 2020’s pace. The country is on track for the deadliest year since 67 officers were killed in 2016.
Three of those officers were killed by unintentional gunfire, leaving 53 officers being killed in the line of duty by gunfire.
The Fraternal Order of Police reported that through Sept. 30 of this year, there had been 63 ambush-style attacks in which officers were wounded, with 93 officers shot, 24 fatally.
The increase in ambushes and killings of police comes at a time when many departments around the country face critical staffing shortages and struggle to fill vacancies.
COVID-19 has taken the lives of 807 officers since 2020, and challenges in the wake of the death of George Floyd in 2020 and the anti-police activism to sweep the country, left many departments gutted and struggling to rebuild.