Washington, DC - Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, released the following statement reflecting on the challenges law enforcement officers faced in 2020:
“The only thing that was consistent in 2020 was the ever-changing challenges that law enforcement officers faced – from the pandemic to weeks of civil unrest. The men and women in law enforcement answered the call of duty, even as some national, State and local leaders called to ‘defund the police.’
“Law enforcement officers have been, and continue to be, on the front lines in a nation ravaged by COVID19, a virus that took the lives of at least 334 of our brothers and sisters in uniform.
“The demonization of the police has made our communities and law enforcement jobs less safe. We saw the consequences of divisive and hateful rhetoric – violence targeting police officers increased significantly. The number of officers shot in 2020 increased by 7% from 2019’s historic number and 33% compared to 2018. There were 314 officers shot in 2020, 47 of whom lost their lives. There were 43 separate ambush attacks on law enforcement officers, which resulted in 52 officers shot. Twelve of those officers were killed.
“This year, law-abiding citizens saw the real-life consequences of what happens when elected officials embrace pro-criminal, revolving-door policies. Murder rates skyrocketed in major cities across America. Some cities, like Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis, saw their murder rate increase by over 50%.
“Our nation’s law enforcement officers, despite the adversity they face, put themselves in harm’s way to protect and serve the communities that they love. I have no doubt that the brave men and women of law enforcement will continue to hold the line, standing in between good and evil and work tirelessly to protect their neighbors.”