The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty reached 148 in 2003, according to a recent report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS).

Shootings and automobile accidents were the leading causes of officers’ deaths last year. Of the 148 killed, 53 died in car accidents; 52 were shot to death; 13 were struck by automobiles while on duty outside their vehicles; 11 died in motorcycle accidents; six died of job-related illnesses; four drowned; two suffered fatal beatings; two fell to their deaths; one was stabbed to death; one died in an aircraft accident; one was electrocuted; one was strangled; and one was hit by a train.

According to this data, 2003 marked the second year in a row the number of law enforcement officers killed was lower than the decade-long average of 166 law enforcement deaths annually.

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