One wouldn't know it from the antics of the various actor-vists entities that portray the uniformed policemen as the biggest criminal threat to their community but the statistics are clear: The people who commit themselves to keeping our communities safe, enforcing the law and entering into dangerous situations where mere civilians are able to run the other way are coming under increasing assault today. This is partially due to the harsh economic times that we are living in. No doubt there is also a decreased lack of respect for the law based on the prevailing culture in some communities.
These police often stand in the breach between a civilized community and one where the Street Pirates rule via their own laws of intimidation.
NEW YORK - A police officer is gunned down in his patrol car in Penn Hills, Pa., while waiting for backup. Near Seattle, four officers starting their day at a coffee shop are ambushed by an ex-con with a handgun. Another four officers are shot to death in Oakland, Calif., after a traffic stop gone awry.
Across the nation, 2009 was a particularly perilous year for officers involved in gun disputes.
The number of officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire increased 24 percent from 2008, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a national nonprofit organization that tracks officer-related deaths.
As of Saturday, 47 police officers have died nationwide this year after being shot while on duty, up from 38 for the same time in 2008, which was the lowest number of gunfire deaths since 1956, according to the data.
Over the past decade, small spikes in gunfire deaths have been common, but experts say they are surprised by the number of officers this year who have been specifically targeted by gunmen.