It’s been a deadly start to 2022 for the law enforcement profession in continuation of last year’s violent trends.
In the month of January, 24 officers have been shot and four killed, making it one of the deadliest opening months in recent years.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that publishes data on shootings, January 2022 saw more shootings against police officers than January 2020 and January 2021 combined, which together total 17 shootings.
Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes released a statement saying that the violence against law enforcement is the worst he has seen over his 36-year career.
“As crime rates continue to rise, the violence directed at law enforcement officers is skyrocketing. I have worked in law enforcement for 36 years, and the current level of violence targeted at our law enforcement officers is the worst I have ever seen,” Yoes said.
Out of the four officers killed this month, three were on-duty deaths, and one was off duty.
Two of the officers killed were NYPD police officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, who were shot during a domestic call.
The other on-duty officer was Harris County, Texas, constable Corporal Charles Galloway.
The law enforcement community reacted to the shootings with concern.
Laura Cooper, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, said the shootings represented a “complete disregard for law enforcement, the job they do and the sanctity of life,” and added that “consequences must be high and accountability must be enforced” in an ABC News interview.
Norwood, Massachusetts, police chief Bill Brooks agreed and said that criminals might be “emboldened” by anti-police sentiment to shoot back at police officers.
“They see that one way to avoid going into police custody is to shoot it out with police,” Brooks said.
January’s shootings continue the violent trend against law enforcement. 2021 was one of the deadliest yearsin recent history for law enforcement, with 458 officers killed in the line of duty.
According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, the total number of officer casualties in 2021 marked a 55 percent increase from 2020, including a 36 percent increase in deaths due to gun violence.