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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The number of police officers killed in the line of duty is rising.  Last year the number jumped 14 percent nationwide. Six died in Missouri, 2 in Illinois.

Our Fox 2 special report examines why this is happening.  Criminals are not afraid to shoot and kill a police officer.  The International Association of Police Chiefs says 85 percent of agencies nationwide have been forced to reduce their budgets and cut manpower and equipment.  There were 58,000 police officers assaulted nationwide last year.

This is the real issue according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  They blame the degradation of criminals and easier access to guns.  They believe the criminals now believe they have nothing to lose by hurting or killing a police officer.  St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom discussed the problem on our special report.

A national group with a strong Missouri chapter is called COPS.  Concerns of Police Survivors. It is made up of survivors of those officer killed in the line of duty.  These families step in to help other families through the grief process.  COPS also helps children of officers killed.  Backstoppers is the financial backbone of these families as it steps in when an officer is killed and takes over the family’s bills.  It is funded through donations.

If you would like to help, click here.

National Center for Violence Against Police

National COPS program for survivors

List of all fallen officers from 1863-2011