As violent crime has decreased, rising numbers of police officers are being killed, says the New York Times. The FBI says 72 officers were killed by perpetrators last year, a 25 percent increase from 2010 and a 75 percent rise from 2008. Last year was the first time that more officers were killed by suspects than car accidents, says the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The number was the highest in nearly two decades, excluding those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
While a majority of officers were killed in smaller cities, 13 were killed in cities of 250,000 or more. New York City lost two officers last year. On Sunday four were wounded by a gunman in Brooklyn. “In this law enforcement job, when you pin this badge on and go out on calls, when you leave home, you ain't got a promise that you will come back,” said Sheriff Ray Foster of Buchanan County, Va. Two of his deputies were killed in March 2011 and two wounded — one of them paralyzed — by a man with a high-powered rifle. “That was 80 percent of my day shift,” he said.