2015 is on track to be the second least deadly year for U.S. police officers in decades, says the Christian Science Monitor. Officer Down Memorial Page, a website that keeps track of officer deaths, said they have declined in the last decade. Over the past 10 years, an average of 157 officers have been killed on the job each year. Last Saturday, St. Clair Township, Pa., officer Lloyd Reed was fatally shot responding to a domestic dispute in New Florence, Pa., 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. Reed was the 116th U.S. police officer killed in the line of duty this year.
The policing profession has faced both higher scrutiny over officers’ use of lethal force, as well as a series of high-profile fatal ambush attacks against police, including killings in Houston and New York. This has left police departments across the nation feeling more vulnerable to attacks against their officers, with some calling for crimes against law enforcement to be prosecuted as hate crimes. The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has characterized recent lethal attacks on police as part of a broader national crisis, calling for hate crime protection for police officers.