On July 7, five officers in Dallas working a peaceful protest of recent officer-involved shootings died after a gunman opened fire. Just a week later in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police said a gunman ambushed officers and killed three of them.
With all the coverage of the recent tragic shootings, some people might think officer deaths are on the rise -- but over the last three-plus decades, officer deaths have been declining.
The Washington Post looked at data from the Officer Down Memorial Page and took out accidents, illnesses and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from its report.
An average of 101 police officers died annually in the 1980s during the Reagan administration. The number has fallen during each subsequent administration, with 90 police fatalities annually during George H.W. Bush's administration, 81 during Bill Clinton's and 72 during Georgia W. Bush's. During the Obama administration, an average of 62 officers have died each year from 2009 to 2015.
So, yes, there has been a dramatic increase in officer gunfire deaths so far in 2016. Hopefully, that one-year spike will be an outlier in the overall trend.