Published June 15, 2014
Last week’s Las Vegas shootings that left five dead, including two on-duty police officers, coincides with a nationwide increase of officers killed in 2014.
According to the Nationwide Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, 63 officers have died on the job this year compared to 45 at the same time last year -- a 40 percent increase. Twenty-three of those deaths were due to firearm-related incidents, a 53 percent increase from the same time last year.
Previously, the overall number of officer fatalities had been on a steady decline since 2011.
“We’ve had some good years and right now we’re in a bad one,” said Richard Beary, vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “In general, we’re seeing more violence in society and that violence in society leads to violence against police officers.”
Beary, also the Chief of Police at the University of Central Florida, told FoxNews.com that central Florida is seeing an unusually violent year with two officers killed since February.
“These officers had no idea somebody was going to kill cops and it’s a terrible situation and a tragedy,” Beary said.