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Number of police officers killed in line of duty increases 51%, according to FBI

Posted at 5:55 PM, Oct 25, 2021

CLEVELAND — New FBI statistics show a 51% increase in the number of police officers killed in the line of duty so far this year. The FBI is reporting 59 law enforcement officers have been killed while protecting and serving in the U.S. 2021 compared to 39 from the same time frame last year.

About one U.S. officer is killed in the line of duty every five days, according to the head of FBI Cleveland’s division.

“One is too many, 59 is way too many,” said Eric Smith, Special Agent in Charge Cleveland Division.

“It does speak to the level of violence that people are willing to do, they’re not willing to have discussions anymore — they want to resort to violence no matter who they’re facing,” added Smith.

It is a dangerous duty for thousands of men and women who protect and serve daily.

“There are very few occupations out there where your sole mission is to go out and put your lives on the line for a perfect stranger,” said Smith.

The statistics show the majority of the deaths were unprovoked attacks, including police officers being ambushed.

At the Bedford Police Department, they are working to prepare officers and keep their officers safe, including anti-ambush training, which teaches “how to get out of an ambush situation,” said Bedford Police Deputy Chief Rick Suts. “It was very successful."

Suts said the department is also taking extra measures to keep their officers safe.

“Some of the cities, including us, we try to send two cops to every call even if it’s a benign call because we don’t know what we’re going to get into,” explained Suts.

So far this year, three Ohio police officers were killed in the line of duty.

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