(NEW YORK) -- On July 6 of this year, Detroit police officer Loren Courts responded to a call for a shooting on Marlowe Street. When police arrived, the 19-year-old suspect shot and killed Courts while he was arriving in his cruiser, according to police.
At his memorial service, Courts, whose father was a retired Detroit Police Department officer, was lauded for his work.
"He was the person others leaned on and sought for advice. He had a calming influence within the precinct and on the street. I do not ever recall seeing him rattled or not on point," one of his fellow officers said, according to local reports. "He was a consummate professional who was the epitome of what a Detroit police officer should be."
Courts was one of the 323 police officers shot in the line of duty this year, according to statistics released by the National Fraternal Order of Police, one of the largest police unions in the country, on Wednesday.
The numbers are up 7% from 2020 and 13% from 2019, according to the FOP. In total, 60 law enforcement officers were killed by gunfire in 2022, the FOP reports. The numbers are down from 2021, however, which was a record-breaking year.
"Last year we saw more officers shot in the line of duty than any other since the National Fraternal Order of Police began recording this data in late 2015, and this year is not far behind," FOP President Patrick Yoes said in a statement. "If these violent criminals are willing to commit brazen acts of violence against the men and women of law enforcement, we can't begin to fathom what heinous acts they are willing to commit against law-abiding citizens. As crime rates continue to rise, more citizens in this country are justifiably living in fear, constantly wondering if they too will become a victim."
Texas, followed by Arizona, Georgia and California, had the most officers shot in 2022.
"Every felonious attack on a law enforcement officer, especially by gunfire, is disturbing regardless of the circumstances," the report said.
Of concern, the union said, 124 law enforcement officers were shot in "ambush" style attacks, which lead to more than half the deaths in 2022. The union said the year-end report will be released in mid-January.
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