The National Fraternal Order of Police (NFOP) on Thursday said the number of attacks on police officers and other law enforcement officials has dramatically risen over the past year.
The group, which isn’t a union but describes itself as the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, said that ambush-style attacks on police are up by about 91 percent so far in 2021. That’s compared with the same time period in 2020, according to the group.
In a tweet, the NFOP said the United States is “witnessing a SURGE in violence against the brave men and women of law enforcement,” noting that in 2021, 150 officers have been shot, 28 officers have been killed by gunfire, and 51 officers have been shot in ambush-style attacks.
Separately, the Washington D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum found that between April 2020 and April 2021, police retirements were up by about 45 percent and resignations rose by 18 percent, according to a report from the New York Times.
The findings are sure to prompt more criticism of the left-wing “defund the police” movement that gained momentum during riots and Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year—which critics have said has led to a spike in violent crime and a rise in police officers quitting or retiring early.
During demonstrations last summer, protesters repeatedly chanted other anti-police slogans—including ones calling to “abolish the police.” Simultaneously, rioters in places in Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis physically assaulted officers, leading to scores of injuries.
And a day before releasing its findings, the NFOP made note of the movement and tied it to soaring homicide rates nationwide. Mayors, the group said, need to “restore the rule of law” and “oppose rogue District Attorneys not prosecuting violent crime” that allow criminals to “roam free.”
NFOP Vice President Joe Gamaldi told the Daily Caller that the uptick in crime was partially triggered by lax bail laws, or bail reform, that allows suspected criminals to be allowed back into society.
“People are out on multiple felony bonds, shooting another person and getting out again. When there’s no consequence with actions, you’ll see an uptick in crime,” he told the outlet this week, noting that among officers, “morale has never been as bad as it is right now.”
According to recent polls, meanwhile, Americans don’t favor the “defund the police” movement. An ABC News/Ipsos poll in mid-June found that 64 percent oppose the slogan while 34 percent support it. A poll released in May by USA Today showed that only 18 percent of respondents had a favorable view.