The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty jumped by 24 percent this year, the Associated Press writes.
The annual report by the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund found that 126 federal, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty in 2014, compared to 102 on-the-job deaths in 2013. Of the 126 deaths, 50 fatalities were caused by firearms, and 15 of those were ambush assaults.
This year’s sudden uptick comes amid strained community-police relations following the high-profile deaths of unarmed black men by white police officers, including Eric Garner and Akai Gurley in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
“I am deeply concerned that a growing anti-government sentiment in America is influencing weak-minded individuals to launch violent assaults against the men and women working to enforce our laws and keep our nation safe,” said Craig Floyd, chairman and CEO of the memorial fund.
According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, a total of 4,405 people died while on the job in 2013.
Among the top-10 deadliest jobs in America were construction workers, with 215 deaths– a rate of 17.7 per 100,000 full-time workers. Roofers had a fatality rate of 38.7 per 100,000 workers; aircraft pilots, 50.6; fishermen, 75; logging workers, 91.3.
State and local law enforcement agencies employ more than 1.1 million sworn personnel on a full-time basis across the country, giving police officers in the U.S. a fatality rate of 11.4 per 100,000 in 2014.