While total duty deaths fell in 2009, the number of officers killed by gunfire rose drastically, according to preliminary data released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Across the nation, 24 percent more officers were targeted by gunfire in 2009 than in 2008. The NLEOMF identified 47 officers — including six with federal agencies — compared with the 38 from 2008.
Texas had the highest number of gun-related casualties among the states with 11. Next were California and Florida (eight officers), then North Carolina and Pennsylvania with seven. Washington state had six, including four Lakewood Police Department officers ambushed in a coffeeshop in late November.
Total fatalities fell 7 percent to 118 from 127. Traffic-related officer deaths also fell, declining 22 percent to 53 from 68.