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Law Enforcement Fatalities by Gunfire Reaches 20-Year High

July 20, 2011  | 

The 40 law officers killed by gunfire in the first half of 2011 marks the highest number in two decades in a year that's been especially deadly for those who wear the badge.

Fatalities in the first six months of the year rose for the second year, according to preliminary figures released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

In all, 98 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the first six months of 2010, according to the "Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: Mid-Year 2011 Report," which was jointly released by NLEOMF and the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).

"The economy has forced reductions in training, safety equipment and personnel at law enforcement agencies across America," said Craig Floyd, NLEOMF's chairman. "These budget cuts have put our officers at greater risk, especially as they face a more brazen, cold-blooded criminal element and a continuing terrorist threat."

The 98 duty deaths represent a 14 percent increase over the 86 officers who lost their lives during the same period last year. Officers killed by firearms surged 33 percent higher than the first-half numbers for 2010.

The 42 officers killed in traffic-related incidents represented a 17 percent decline compared to the first half of 2010. Traffic-related incidents have been the leading cause of law enforcement fatalities for 13 years.

The report further delineated the 98 line of duty deaths of officers:

With 10 officers killed each, Florida and Texas were the deadliest states in the nation. These states were followed by New York (8), Ohio (7), California (4), Michigan (4), and Tennessee (4).

Nine of the officers killed served with federal agencies, and five served with corrections agencies. The average age of the officers who died was 41. On average, they served for 13 years. Also, eight female officers (8.16 percent) were counted as duty deaths.

"The number of family members impacted by line of duty law enforcement deaths increases each year," said Linda Moon-Gregory, national president of C.O.P.S. "Correspondently, the number of families requesting assistance through their darkest days, and requesting assistance through C.O.P.S. grief healing retreats, has also increased."


Is Law Enforcement Entering a Deadly New Era?

11 Officers Shot Over 24 Hours Causes Fear of 'War on Cops'

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Tom @ 7/21/2011 6:39 PM

The bad guys need to know that if you kill a cop you are likely to die yourself. Obviously, they are not afraid to pull the trigger or otherwise kill cops anymore as fewer and fewer killers face the death penalty and if they do it is after 15 years sitting on death row. The system needs to be swift and sure as opposed to what it is today. Recidivism rate for cop killers should be zero.

Morning Eagle @ 7/21/2011 7:46 PM

Exactly right Tom. I have been saying all along as I watched the death toll from gun shots rise that one of the surest deterrents is that any who are willing to shoot at law enforcement officers should know it WILL cost them their life in the very near future. One trouble is even the most dense can see our criminal "justice" system has been broken in favor of the criminal by weak, deal making prosecutors, bleeding heart judges, juries, and parole boards. Now in too many jurisdictions it seems a person can shoot down one or more officers and even if they eventually get the death penalty they will be a hero in the prison population and get to file endless appeals for the next fifteen to twenty years or more.

Tom Ret LPD @ 7/21/2011 7:59 PM

I seem to remember hearing a case down south where a suspect had killed a couple officers and fled into the brush. The cops gave chase and eventually killed the suspect after firing numerous rounds. The news tried to make a big deal out of how many times the suspect was shot which was something like 30 times. The sheriff or chief replied unapologetically that the suspect was shot 30 times because they (cops) ran out of ammunition. Whether that would deter another cop killer who knows but one thing is for sure, that killer would not kill another cop.

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