By way of statistics and lives, 2011 was a bad year for law enforcement.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund issued a preliminary report showing 173 officers were killed in the U.S. in 2011, up 13 percent over last year.
Of that figure, 68 died from gunshots, up 15 percent from 2010. Another 64 were killed in traffic related incidents, down 10 percent from last year.
“This is a devastating and unacceptable trend. Each of these deaths is a tragic reminder of the threats that law enforcement officers face each day – and the fact that too many guns have fallen into the hands of those who are not legally permitted to possess them,” commented Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.
“Departments across the country have mourned the loss of too many dedicated colleagues and friends, but my colleagues and I at the Justice Department are determined to turn back this rising tide. I want to assure the family members and loved ones who have mourned the loss of these heroes that we are responding to this year’s increased violence with renewed vigilance and will do everything within our power – and use every tool at our disposal – to keep our police officers safe.”