The number of officers killed on duty in firearms-related incidents in 2017 declined 33 percent from last year, according to new data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Experts remain concerned about ambush attacks as a broader debate wages around policing in America. Eight of this year’s officer killings were from ambush attacks, also marking a decline from 2016, when the country saw a surge of ambush killings targeting officers, with 21 officers killed in those attacks and 66 total officers killed by gunfire.
Meanwhile, debates about policing and civil rights continue across the country. Just this month, the president incorrectly claimed violent assaults against police are increasing. But in the police community, family members and advocates tell NBC News the aggregate data only tells a small part of the story.
“It’s devastating because it exposes just how dangerous the profession is,” said Marq Claxton, a retired NYPD Detective & Director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance, “how vulnerable you all are individually.”