It’s been a tough year for Louisiana law enforcement, as Louisiana was third in the nation for officers killed in the line of duty.

President of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Craig Floyd, says nationwide, 135 police officers were killed this year. He says firearms-related fatalities were the leading cause of on duty deaths.

“Sixty-four of them shot and killed. That’s a 54% increase over the same time last year, and 21 of those 64 shooting deaths of officers were ambush attacks,” Floyd said.

One of those attacks occurred on July 17 in Baton Rouge when a gunman killed three officers and wounded three others. A total of 9 Louisiana police officers were killed in 2015. Floyd blames a growing disrespect for the rule of law for the increase in officer deaths. He says police are visible, vulnerable symbols of law and authority.

“Too often we’ve seen a lot of the hatred, a lot of this violence targeted to law enforcement officers. For some, they’re the enemy,” Floyd said.

Floyd says too often, the service and sacrifice of police officers is taken for granted. He says we need more education about the role of law enforcement in our society. He says that’s why they are opening the National Law Enforcement Museum in 2018, to tell the story of law enforcement.

“It’s an amazing history of not only courage, but compassion. The vital role that law enforcement has played in our society for hundreds of years, that story has been untold,” Floyd said.