Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Increased in 2018
The number of law enforcement officers dying on the job increased in 2018, according to a new report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The number of fallen officers increased by 12 percent from 2017 to 2018.*
In 2017, 129 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in the United States. The following year, in 2018, 144 officers died. This represents a 12 percent increase and includes officers at the federal and state levels, as well as local law enforcement, tribal officers and territorial officers in the U.S.
Most of the fatalities in 2018 involved firearms. Fifty-two officers died in 2018 because of firearms-related incidents, which was 13 percent higher than the number of officers killed because of firearms in 2017 (46 officers). Fourteen of the 2018 firearms-related officer deaths happened while the officers were trying to make arrests.
Also in 2018, 50 law enforcement officers died in traffic accidents, which was a nine percent increase from 2017. Thirty-two of these were multi-vehicle crashes, 16 were single-vehicle crashes, and four of them were motorcycle crashes. Another 14 officers were killed in 2018 while they were outside of their vehicles.
Broken down by state, California, Florida, New York, and Texas saw the most officer deaths in 2018 with 11 in each state. North Carolina was second with seven officer deaths, and Georgia, South Carolina, and Indiana were third with five officer deaths in each state.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund report is a reminder to people about the risks involved in public service and the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers and their families all around the country.
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