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2015 duty deaths in line with first half of last year

Posted by: Jennifer Foley Posted date: December 2, 2015


Sixty-four law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in the first half of 2015, a 3 percent increase over the 62 officers killed in the first half of 2014, according to a report issued by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Traffic-related fatalities were once again the leading cause of officer fatalities, with 30 officers killed in the first half of 2015, a 20 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Job-related illnesses also increased from 13 deaths to 16, a 33 percent rise.

On a downward trend, however, were firearms-related deaths. Unlike the increase in recent years, firearms-related fatalities dropped to 18, compared to 24 in the first half of 2014, a 25 percent decrease.

“While I’m concerned to see an increase in traffic-related fatalities – many are often preventable deaths – it’s encouraging to see a decrease in firearms-related fatalities,” said Craig W. Floyd, NLEOMF Chairman and CEO. “This report reminds us that much more work needs to be done to improve officer safety and wellness in our country.”

• Of the traffic-related deaths, 21 officers were killed in automobile crashes; 13 died in multiple-vehicle crashes (an increase from eight last year during the same period); and eight were killed in single-vehicle crashes, the same number as during the first half of 2014.
• Heart attacks topped the list of job-related illnesses at 10; three officers died from injuries related to Sept. 11, 2001 investigative activities; two died from injuries sustained while attempting arrest; and one died from an injury sustained during a training exercise.
• On the decline, firearms-related fatalities include: four officers shot and killed during a traffic stop compared to two last year; three were shot and killed in ambushes; two were killed while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances; and two were inadvertently shot and killed. Additional circumstances are included in the 2015 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report.
• More officers died in the line of duty in Texas, 7, than any other state, followed by Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, each with five peace officer fatalities. Four officers were killed in Alabama during the period.

Click here for a copy of the full report “2015 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report