The number of “ambush-style” attacks on law enforcement officers has leapt this year, a national police union says.
Data show 83 officers were shot in 67 separate ambush-style attacks between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police.
That’s up 148 percent from the same time period last year.
“It’s just a massive increase,” Joe Gamaldi, vice president of the union and a Houston police sergeant, told The Epoch Times.
Officers can be ambushed when people make a fake 911 call in an attempt to lure them to an area and attack them. One such attack unfolded in Arvada, Colorado, in June, leaving police officer Gordon Beasley dead. Another took place in Nashville in June.
The other primary type of ambush involves situations where officers aren’t able to defend themselves. An example is when officers conduct a traffic stop and somebody opens fire on them as they’re approaching the vehicle.
Officers are being attacked at a record pace this year. The 220 police officers shot so far in 2021 is on track to set a record number, Gamaldi said. The union started tracking the number four years ago.
Forty officers have been killed by gunfire during the same time period.
“It’s an extremely dangerous time for law enforcement right now,” he said.
The police officer pinned the jump to the anti-police rhetoric used by some activists and media, the jump in violent crime seen across the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the so-called progressive district attorneys in major cities who are dramatically altering existing practices, such as letting accused criminals stay free until trial or dropping various charges automatically.
Police officers should remain “extremely vigilant,” being aware of their surroundings, particularly in moments of downtime on the job, Gamaldi said.
“We need to be careful, we need to make sure that we have our eyes out there. We also need to make sure that we’re providing backup for one another on the streets and we need to make sure that agencies are properly staffing,” he added.