Although violent crime has decreased across the country, for one group, the numbers seem to tell a different story. According to statistics compiled by the FBI, the number of police officers killed in 2011 was up by 25 percent from the previous year — and up by 75 percent from 2008. A total of 72 officers were killed in 2011. And for the first time, last year more officers were killed by suspects than by car accidents.
Why are more officers losing their lives on the job? Maria Haberfeld, chair of the Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice says that while it's hard to pinpoint any one factor behind these numbers, there are some trends that emerge when the statistics are examined closely.