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Statistics aside, there’s been a palpable, growing dislike for police officers in recent years, said Jim Pasco, executive director at the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police officers union. There will always be ebbs and flows in terms of crime data, but the anti-government presence is real and is felt on the streets by officers, he said.

“Over the last 25 years or so there’s been a gradual erosion toward authority figures and of respect for police officers. It’s highly visible,” said Mr. Pasco. “The vast majority of people respect police officers and what they do, but there’s always going to be that deranged minority with unfocused rage and resentment. Most of the haters just talk about it and ruminate, but every once in a while it manifests itself.”

Mr. Pasco said he receives about two to four emails a month from individuals who say they celebrate when they hear news of a cop dying and who won’t be happy until “each one of you is dead,” he read from an email.

“There’s nothing you can do about it,” he said. “It’s very disconcerting, but it’s not like I’m going to send an email back and try to defend what we do. They’re too far gone.”

This article is based in part on wire service reports.