Strange days in the world of policing, especially in L.A.
While violent crime continued its downward slide in 2011, with the FBI's latest stats indicating a 6.4 percent decline nationwide, attacks on cops in the City of Angels were up. Way up.
Last week LAPD Chief Charlie Beck reported that assaults against police officers in 2011 were up nearly 27 percent compared to last year. And for every action, there is a reaction:
Officer involved shootings were up nearly 60 percent.
You all saw what went down at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street earlier this month, so this shouldn't be a complete surprise. What's scary is that the confrontation wasn't that unusual for men and women in uniform.
The problem seems to hold up nationwide, too. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that on-duty deaths have increased 14 percent this year.
In California there have been 10 law enforcement fatalities in 2011.
Craig Floyd, chairman and CEO of the group, told CNN that firearms were the leading cause of death, outstripping traffic accidents and other causes for the first time in 14 years.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, had this to say about the trend:
There's no compelling, clear evidence why this is occurring. All we can say with certainty is that despite declining crime statistics, policing remains a very dangerous profession.
To our law enforcement brothers and sisters, as the end of 2011 draws near, may you never forget the fellow officers that gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives for the protection of others, and may you always look out for the safety of your colleagues as you protect and serve your communities.