UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
WACO -- It's easy to feel safe in the presence of police officers, but who protects those who protect us?
For the second year in a row, fatalities rose sharply nationwide.
There have been 98 officer deaths the first half of the year alone.
51 of those officers killed by gun-fire, which is the highest number of fire-arm fatalities in 20 years.
So what's causing this spike in officer deaths?
"Criminals today don't seem to think twice about shooting a police officer. i also think that the other major factor that we're looking at is a substantial cut in law enforcement budgets. when you cut training dollars, equipment dollars, when you cut manpower, you put officers at risk," said Craig Floyd, CEO of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Especially in Texas, which ranks along with Florida as the deadliest state over the past six months.
"In Texas they also lead the nation in deaths historically. It's, because of the large number of officers who serve in Texas, the odds of an officer being killed in the line of duty are about 1 in 6,000," said Floyd.
So how do we stop this frightening trend?
"Don't keep slashing the budget of law enforcement agencies. Don't take away their training dollars, don't take away their safety equipment and their weaponry dollars and put more officers on the streets of America," said Floyd.
One good piece of news from the mid-year report, there has been a 17 percent decrease in traffic related deaths.
Which had been the leading cause of deaths for the past 13 years.