There have been 26 police officers shot and killed so far in 2016. That number represents an alarming increase from last year, according to a law enforcement watchdog group.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), which tracks on-duty officer deaths every year, claims 44 percent more officers have been killed by shootings so far this year than at the same time in 2015.
Even before Thursday's attack on police in Dallas, which killed five officers, the number was still slightly higher than at the same point in 2015.
The attack in Dallas has been described as an ambush attack on law enforcement — implying it was planned ahead of time.
So far in 2016, there have been 11 shooting ambushes of officers, according to the NLEOMF. There were eight total such shootings in 2015 and a total of 15 in 2014.
The average number of officers who are fatally shot each year has decreased sharply in the past few decades. According to the NLEOMF, an average of 127 officers were shot and killed annually in the 1970s, compared to 52 per year over the past 10 years.