The FBI is drawing attention to violence against police officers after releasing data revealing that the rate of officers killed in the line of duty is the highest it has been in five years.
According to the data, 59 officers were killed this year by felonious acts from January 1 through October 12, which is 20 more than last year’s numbers. In addition, there were 46 accidental deaths this year, such as deaths from car crashes — up from 37 in 2020.
The FBI did not count COVID-19 deaths (the highest cause of death among law enforcement) or other medical-related deaths in their analysis.
FBI Director Christopher Wray called for action to stem the tide of violence against police officers during National Police Week.
“What we’re seeing this year is an alarming uptick in violence against law enforcement, and it’s something that deserves way more attention than it’s getting,” Wray said. “We are looking at now 59 officers or agents murdered in the line of duty this year. That’s an over 50 percent increase from (the same time) last year.”
Wray said that amounts to one officer killed every five days. “That basically translates to every five days — more often than every five days in this country — an officer is murdered in the line of duty,” he said.” And that’s totally unacceptable. It’s a tragedy, and it needs attention.”
The FBI also found that assaults against officers were on the rise after examining data from 9,895 agencies across the country. A total of 60,105 law enforcement officers were reported to have been assaulted on duty in 2020, an increase of 4,071 officers compared to 2019.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that five officers in Georgia were killed in 2021; two were shot, one was stabbed and two were hit by vehicles.
Sergeant Daniel Mobley, a 22-year veteran of the DeKalb County Police Department, was hit by a car while responding to a crash involving another DeKalb County officer. Holly Springs Police Officer Joe Burson was killed after being dragged by a vehicle during an attempted traffic stop. Recently, Officer Dylan Harrison, 26, was shot to death on October 9 while working his first part-time shift for the Alamo Police Department. Harrison was also a full-time Oconee Drug Task Force agent.
“Law enforcement officers these days are dealing with a whole range of threats at a time when, in many ways, the job is more dangerous than ever,” Wray remarked. “Whether it’s responding to some volatile domestic violence call, a traffic stop or executing a search warrant or arrest, the dangers are very real and constant.”