According to the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, 350 officers have been injured in the past 12 months and some have been injured seriously enough to warrant being medically discharged.
Federation chairman Terry Spence told UTV that the PSNI is grossly under-resourced, especially given the severe threat still posed by dissident republicans and the recent loyalist unrest.
"Officers are being targeted for murder, both on and off duty," Mr Spence said.
"In addition to that, we have the volatility in the public order situation where it's very clear that officers have been attacked by loyalists and republicans - in the last 12 months, in particular by loyalists, and a lot of that violence was orchestrated by loyalist paramilitaries.
"There is a resurgence of loyalist paramilitary activity and all those things tell us very clearly that we need an additional 1,000 officers."
The reality is - there's no semblance of peace. In fact, the violence now is at the same level as we would have had in the 90s.
Terry Spence, Police Federation
At the time of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland has 12,500 full-time police officers. The current figure stands at 6,900.
In 1999, the Patton report into policing in Northern Ireland recommended that the region should have 7,500 officers in a peace-time scenario.
"Patton went on to define what a peace-time scenario was," Mr Spence explained.
"He said that all paramilitaries would have disbanded. And they haven't. He said that all paramilitaries would have decommissioned their weapons. And they haven't."
The federation chairman also said that many officers were burnt out from working around-the-clock and that some were still receiving counseling after being injured during rioting in recent weeks.
It has been suggested that officers benefit from overtime pay, but Mr Spence dismissed that notion.
"The vast majority of our officers want to spend time with their families. Money would not pay you for what they have been subjected to," he said.
Mr Spence also claimed it could not be disputed that the PSNI did not have enough officers when police recently had to be drafted in from the rest of the UK.
"Just four weeks ago, we had 1,000 officers that came from England, Scotland and Wales that provided mutual aid. Why was that?" he said.
"It was because the PSNI were quite evidently under-resourced."
But the federation does not feel that the ability to call upon other police forces for back-up is adequate to meet the needs of the PSNI.
"That doesn't deal with spontaneous violence - it takes at least four days to bring officers from the rest of the UK," Mr Spence said.
"Those officers also don't understand the complexities of policing in Northern Ireland."
This is not like policing football hooliganism. Officers were attacked with blast bombs and nail bombs and petrol bombs - that doesn't happen in England, Scotland and Wales.
Terry Spence, Police Federation
While budget constraints could be a factor in future PSNI staffing levels, the Police Federation continues to make the same call it has made for the last four years - recruit at least 1,000 officers.
According to Ulster Unionist Justice spokesman Tom Elliott, the party fully endorses the Police Federation's call.
"We make no apology for repeating our assessment that the Chief Constable was wrong to do away with the Full-Time Reserve," he said.
"We also repeat our call that urgent action be taken to address the dangerous lack of resources in terms of properly trained local officers available to the PSNI, for whom mutual aid officers are no proper substitute."
Mr Elliott added: "Many officers have obviously been injured in rioting by elements of the unionist community and our sympathies go out to them and their colleagues.
"However, it must not be forgotten that republicans have been targeting, murdering and maiming police officers and are intent on continuing to do so."
Alliance Party MLA and Policing Board member Trevor Lunn said that the number of officers injured was "absolutely appalling".
He added: "There has not been any justification for the attacks that the police have sustained in the past year during major public disorder.
"While I respect the right to protest, there is a need for anybody taking part in a protest to abide by the rule of law.
"Elected representatives and community leaders must also demonstrate responsible leadership, rather than blame game politics which only increase tension."
Commenting on Mr Spence's statement, Sinn Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane said: "Sinn Féin, along with other members of the Policing Board, has been forging a basis for open and forward thinking on this subject," Ms Ruane said.
"As part of that, the Policing Board met with the Police Federation and they told us at that time that they would support a 50-50 basis for any future recruitment. Sinn Féin has also pressed the PSNI chief constable on the need for affirmative action at a public meeting of the Board before the summer.
"The blueprint for change is well defined in the Good Friday Agreement and the Patten Report.
"So those who call for more police constables need to take note - the composition and culture of PSNI is not what we require for a new beginning to policing.
"That can begin with the PSNI abandoning its policy of retiring and rehiring. If the PSNI is sincere about opening doors to new recruits then they need to shut the revolving door for rehiring retired police officers."