67 cops have died in the line of duty this year — and one is from NJ
Ambush-style attacks account for more than 20 percent of law enforcement line-of-duty deaths nationwide in 2016 so far.
The deadly attacks are considered premeditated, and police were unsuspecting, as was the case in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Police were targeted simply because they wore a uniform and badge.
According to the the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, there were 32 firearms-related deaths among law enforcement as of July 20 — 14 from ambushes. And there have been 67 line-of-duty deaths overall.
The amount of deaths overall is only pacing slightly ahead of this time last year — by 8 percent. But the amount related to firearms is more striking: Those deaths are up 78 percent, with the ambushes playing a significant role in driving that statistic.
The president of the fund says every person in the U.S. should be outraged by the latest numbers.
"The divisiveness that we've seen in recent weeks and months has got to stop," Craig Floyd said. "We as a nation must come together."
Traffic-related incidents are second in line, claiming 24 officers' lives in 2016. Among them — New Jersey State Trooper Sean Cullen, 31, who in March was struck and killed by a vehicle while on the scene of a car fire in West Deptford.
"Our motorists have got to be more careful on our roadways, giving our officers a margin of safety as they do these very dangerous jobs," Floyd said. "Officers are always at risk, no matter how routine the assignment might seem."
Cullen is currently the only New Jersey officer to lose his life in the line of duty in 2016. Thirteen officers were killed in Texas, more than in any other state. Louisiana lost seven officers.
According to the the fund, 495 New Jersey officers have been killed in the line of duty since recording began.
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