Police group says ambush attacks on officers up 91 percent over past year

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The National Fraternal Order of Police announced Thursday that ambush-style attacks on police officers are up more than 90 percent compared to the same point last year.

The group said there have been 40 ambush-style attacks on officers so far in 2021, with 51 officers being shot from the attacks. Thirteen officers died from their injuries.

Such attacks have increased by 91 percent since 2020, the first year the group started tracking them.

The group defined ambush-style attacks in its 2020 summary as attacks that are “carried out with an element of surprise and intended to deprive officers of the ability to defend against the attack.”

There were 48 ambush-style attacks on officers in all of 2020, with 60 officers being shot. Twelve officers died as a result of their injuries last year.

Along with an increase in ambush-style attacks, police departments have been seeing an increase in officers leaving their jobs.

From April 2020 to April 2021, retirements among officers were up 45 percent and resignations were up 18 percent, a Police Executive Research Forum survey showed, according to a New York Times report.

Officers saw increasingly hostile environments last year amid protests against police brutality and also struggled through a lack of training and low pay, the Times noted. 

One attack targeting an officer in the Denver area last month ended when authorities said an onlooker shot the suspect. Police said the suspect in that attack appeared to be motivated by a contempt for law enforcement.

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