Despite Politicized Claims, On-Duty Officer Deaths are Declining

Lately, media outlets and politicians have made claims that demands by activists for greater police accountability and reform are generating a climate of hostility towards nation’s police force. This hostility is manifesting itself greater levels of violence aimed at police officers and more police deaths.

In the last six years under President Obama, we’ve seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric.” Claimed Gov. Scott Walker in a blog post published earlier this month. “Instead of hope and change, we’ve seen racial tensions worsen and a tendency to use law enforcement as a scapegoat…This inflammatory and disgusting rhetoric has real consequences for the safety of officers who put their lives on the line for us and hampers their ability to serve the communities that need their help.”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz shared similar sentimentsThey’re feeling the assault from the president, from the top on down as we see, whether it’s in Ferguson or Baltimore, the response of senior officials of the president, of the attorney general, is to vilify law enforcement. That is fundamentally wrong, and it is endangering the safety and security of us all.”

The only problems with these claims, of course, is that they appear to be entirely wrong. In fact, the data clearly states that the exact opposite is true. A police officer today has a much lower likelihood of being killed in the line of duty than they have at any point in the past 55 years. (more…)