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Killings of police officers on duty are near record lows

There’s no sign that it’s more dangerous to be a cop today than it was decades or even years ago.

For much of 2015, Fox News and the New York Post decried a “war on cops,” specifically blaming the Black Lives Matter movement — and its criticisms of excessive use of force by cops — for enabling a wave of violence against police officers in the US.

But it looks like 2015 was one of the safest years to be a police officer in America. Since 1960, only 2013 had fewer on-duty police officer deaths than 2015.

On-duty deaths of police officers

The Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks police officer deaths, estimated 129 police officers died in the line of duty in 2015, down 3 percent from 2014. This continued the long-term trend downward, based on the organization’s statistics going back decades.

The drop in police deaths coincides with a dramatic drop in crime in recent decades: Violent crime rates in the US dropped by roughly 49 percent between 1994 and 2014, according to FBI data.

Still, many defenders of police continue claiming that cops are under serious threat — potentially in an attempt to shift the conversation from heightened levels of police brutality.