Even as more police officers have left their jobs over the past two years, the number targeted and killed has risen.

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Even as more police officers have left their jobs over the past two years, the number targeted and killed has risen.

SEATTLE — The shooting deaths of two Connecticut officers and wounding of a third punctuated an especially violent week for police across the U.S. and fit into a grim pattern: Even as more officers left their jobs in the past two years, the number targeted and killed rose.

According to organizations that track violence against police, 56 officers have been killed by gunfire this year — 14% more than this time last year and about 45% ahead of 2020′s pace. The country is on track for the deadliest year since 67 officers were killed in 2016.

While the figures include a few officers killed by accidental gunfire, the number of ambushes in which police were injured or killed in surprise attacks with little chance to defend themselves has soared since 2020 and accounts for nearly half the officers killed this year.

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