Sixty policemen and law enforcement officers have been killed in firearm-related incidents so far this year, according to a report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
This marks a 67% increase in the number of fatalities among policemen from firearms over the same period last year. A total of 41 policemen were killed in firearms-related incidents over the entirety of 2015, including the month of December.
130 policemen have been killed this year.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund president Craig Floyd said that the number of ambush-style attacks on policemen has risen to twenty this year from just eight in 2015.
"In all the cases, the officers were essentially assassinated before they had any contact with the suspect or placed that suspect in jeopardy." Floyd said of the ambush attacks.
The worst attack came in July, when a single gunman assassinated five policemen during a protest in Dallas, Texas, on what was the deadliest day for American law enforcement since September 11, 2001.
Several high-profile attacks, including the Dallas shooting, were carried out in response to the perceived shooting of innocent African American men by cops. The majority of cop-shooters have been white, however.
"So much dialogue has centered around race relations, but there is a hatred in this country right now that's just gotten out of control," Floyd said. "There is a lack of respect for government in general, and the most visible and vulnerable symbol of government in America is patrolling our streets in marked cars."