The number of law enforcement professionals nationwide who died in the line of duty in the first half of 2022 decreased 31% over the same time period in 2021, according to preliminary data provided by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).
NLEOMF announced in its official “2022 Mid-Year Preliminary Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report” that as of June 30, 2022, 129 federal, state, county, municipal, military, campus, and tribal officers have died in the line of duty during the first six months of 2022, representing a 31% decrease compared to the 188 officers who died in the line of duty during the same period in 2021.
“As the leading authority in line-of-duty death research and data, the publication of the “2022 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report” is an opportunity for us to share with the public the rate at which we are losing our heroes, as well as what’s behind the data,” said NLEOMF CEO Marcia Ferranto. “With zero officer fatalities as our ultimate goal, observing comparatively lower numbers in line-of-duty deaths provides us with cautious hope for those who’ve made a commitment to serve and protect our communities.”
Most significant in the 2022 Mid-Year Report is the sizeable reduction in Covid-19-related deaths. Fifty-four officers have succumbed to the disease so far this year, compared to 98 officers in the same period in 2021, a 45% decrease.
While the number of line-of-duty deaths in the first half of 2022 have decreased compared to the same time in 2021, most of that decrease is a result of far fewer Covid-19-related deaths. The preliminary report shows an 18% increase in the number of firearms-related fatalities, which is cause for concern.
Firearms-related fatalities have claimed the lives of 33 officers in the first half of 2022, an 18% increase compared to the 28 officers killed in firearms-related incidents in the first half of 2021.
Of the 33 firearms fatalities:
- 9 were handling domestic disturbance calls
- 6 were investigating disturbance calls
- 3 were attempting an arrest
- 3 were fatally shot responding to burglary or robbery in-progress calls
- 2 were handling suspicious persons/activities calls
- 2 were killed during traffic enforcement
- 2 were serving warrants
- 2 were ambushed
- 2 were handling/transporting prisoners
- 1 was mistaken identity
- 1 was killed during a tactical encounter
Traffic-related fatalities decreased 9% with 31 deaths in 2022 compared to 34 deaths in the same period in 2021. While overall traffic-related fatalities are down YTD, the 20 fatal crashes so far in 2022 (automobile/motorcycle) represent an increase of 25% compared to the same time in 2021.
Of the 31 traffic-related deaths:
- 14 were automobile crashes involving a collision with another vehicle or fixed object
- 5 were single-vehicle crashes
- 1 officer has been killed in a motorcycle crash
- 11 were struck-by fatalities
Top 6 States with the Largest Number of Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities
Texas has experienced the largest number of law enforcement officer fatalities of all U.S. states so far this year, with 25 line-of-duty deaths.
- California has the second highest number with 10 officer deaths.
- Alabama has the third highest number with 8 officer deaths.
- Tennessee and New York have the fourth highest number with 6 officer deaths each.
- Missouri has the sixth highest number with 5 officer deaths.
- In addition, 6 federal officers and 1 tribal officer have died in the line of duty so far this year. 18 states and the District of Columbia have not lost an officer so far this year.
There were 117 male officers killed in the line of duty, and 12 female officers. The average age of the fallen officers is 45, with an average of 15 years of service. On average, officers left behind two children.
NLEOMF will be hosting a Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Summit on Thursday, July 28, at the National Law Enforcement Museum. The full-day program, which can be attended for free in person in Washington, DC or virtually, will create greater awareness of the persistent dangers officers face while operating on our nation’s roadways and promote a stronger culture of safety within all law enforcement agencies in the United States and its territories.
For a complete copy of the 2022 Mid-Year Preliminary Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report, go to: http://www.LawMemorial.org/FatalitiesReport.