WASHINGTON – Police officers are on the front lines in our society working to assure public safety. It is a dangerous job. “Though our ultimate goal is zero deaths,” said Craig W. Floyd, the Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO, “it is encouraging to see preliminary data in line with 2012, which had the lowest number of officer deaths in 52 years,” he said. “We are changing the way people think about law enforcement safety. No longer should any officer’s death or injury be accepted as ‘just part of the job.'”
Today in the United States, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in conjunction with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), issued a new report stating that fifty-one police officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2013—a nine percent increase since last year.
Number of Police Officers Killed in Line of Duty Up 9%
Of these fifty-one officers, eighteen were killed in traffic-related incidents; seventeen were killed in firearms-related incidents;and sixteen died due to job-related illnesses and other causes.
- Traffic-related incidents were once again the leading cause of officer fatalities, with 18 officers killed in the first half of 2013—a 34-year low.
- Firearms-related incidents were the second leading cause of officer deaths, with 17 fatalities. Ambush attacks were the leading circumstance of fatal shootings, with seven officer fatalities.
- After increasing dramatically in 2010 and 2011, firearms-related fatalities decreased for the second year in a row, hitting a 57-year low.
- Sixteen officers died due to other causes in the first half of 2013, compared to 10 in 2012. Job-related illnesses, such as heart attacks, increased in the first half of 2013, with 10 officer fatalities.
- California led all states with seven officer fatalities; followed by Arkansas with six; Louisiana andTexas with three each; and Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, New York and Virginia with two each.
A copy of the full research bulletin, “Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: Mid-Year 2013 Report,” is available at www.LawMemorial.org/ResearchBulletin.