In light of recent executions of police officers in downtown Dallas, the state of Texas now leads the country in “law enforcement officers feloniously killed”, according to a national nonprofit that tracks such cases for 2016.
Year-to-date, 32 law enforcement officers have been killed across the United States with 13 occurring in the Lone Star State, according to figures reported by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). The organization notes that “ambush killings of officers increased more than 300 percent this year” as well. Should trends continue, this year’s total could surpass 2015’s 52 murders. From 2005 to 2014, 2011 was the deadliest year for police with 72 killed, according to the group.
Following Texas’ 13 police deaths for the year, Louisiana trailed with seven while California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia each lost three officers apiece.
NLEOMF President Craig W. Floyd noted in a release, “All American citizens should be outraged at the number of officers who have been targeted, shot and killed this year … Public safety is a partnership. Thankfully, the vast majority of Americans clearly support and appreciate the vital role law enforcement plays in our society.”
Texas’ disproportionate line-of-duty fatality rate strikes a concerning disconnect between high-profile, officer-involved shootings occurring in other states that have reportedly inspired such attacks. Some Dallas police representatives hope this is an aberration.
“I’m hoping that this is an anomaly and this trend won’t continue,” Dallas Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Walton told Breitbart Texas.
Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation President and Dallas Police Department Sergeant Demetrick Pennie added that communities must discern how to improve protections for their law enforcement officers.
“We must find ways to protect those that protect us,” Sgt. Pennie told Breitbart Texas. “If we cannot protect our police, they cannot perform effectively perform their duties in protecting the public which creates a scenario where everyone but criminals lose.”
This article was updated with additional quotes.
Logan Churchwell is the Assistant Editor and a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell.