The 1920s was one of the deadliest decades in U.S. law enforcement history, with an average of almost 229 police officers killed annually, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The violence paralleled Prohibition and the rise of bootleggers and gangsters, who often outgunned police. More police died in Chicago than anywhere else in the country. The crime and violence gave rise to greater cooperation between federal law enforcement, led by the FBI, and state and local police. The deadliest year was 1930, when 285 police officers were killed.
Local police in the United States are increasingly swapping out traditional shotguns for assault rifles. Smith & Wesson offers an array of assault rifles to the law enforcement community, like the M&P15 shown at the top. These rifles were shown at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago in October. See more images from the conference here and read more about how local police are stockpiling high-tech, combat-ready gear.