On Monday, state Attorney General Ashley Moody issued an update on the increase in Florida law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Violent attacks against law enforcement officers are on the rise. So far this year, 11 Florida law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty compared to two line-of-duty deaths during the same time period last year. More than half of the deaths are attributed to violent attacks on officers.
“As the wife of a law enforcement officer, the increase in violent attacks against Florida law enforcement officers both saddens and infuriates me—and we must put a stop to them now,” Moody said on Monday. “Our brave men and women behind the badge see these statistics, they know the risk and still they show up to serve and protect their communities, regardless of the dangers faced. It’s time we show up for them and end this disturbing trend. I encourage all Floridians to show their support to law enforcement officers by reporting suspicious activities or crimes, and by thanking them for the risks they take to keep us all safe.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 presented many challenges for frontline workers, including the men and women of law enforcement. In December, Moody issued a report that officers killed in the line of duty nationwide more than doubled in 2020 when compared to the previous year, totaling more than 350 officers lost at year’s end.
Many of the officers killed in 2020 were lost at the hands of COVID-19. As Florida continues to prioritize vaccination distribution to law enforcement officers and first responders, the number of officers succumbing to the disease is falling.
Unlike last year, COVID-19 is no longer the main culprit of claiming the lives of Florida law enforcement officers. So far, an overwhelming majority of the law enforcement officer deaths in 2021 are at the hands of violent attacks. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Florida is the deadliest state thus far for law enforcement officer deaths due to felonious acts.
To help reduce crime and the burden on law enforcement officers, as preliminary reports suggest an increase in homicide cases, Moody announced a near-doubling increase in award money for anonymous tips in murder cases that lead to an arrest. She called on all Floridians to do their part in supporting law enforcement, including reporting suspicious activity.