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Firearms deaths spike 56 percent in first half of year

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: November 5, 2014

— Excerpted from National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: Mid-Year 2014 Report published on July 22, 2014.

Law enforcement line of duty deaths for the first half of 2014 increased 31 percent overall compared to the same time period last year and firearms deaths spiked 56 percent.

“We have seen significant declines in officer fatalities the last two years,” said NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd. “The sharp rise in officers killed by gunfire – many in ambush-style attacks — as well as a significant increase in fatal on-duty heart attacks reminds us that much more work needs to be done to improve officer safety and wellness.”

Sixty-seven officers were killed in the line of duty with firearms-related fatalities on the rise and traffic-related deaths remaining the leading cause of fatalities. Twenty-six officers were killed in traffic-related incidents, a 37 percent increase over the same time period last year. Twenty-five were killed by gunfire and 16 died due to job-related illnesses and other causes.

Investigating suspicious persons or situations was the leading situation involving fatal shootings, with six officer fatalities; followed by ambushes with five officer fatalities.

While deaths due to other causes remained the same as last year at 16 total, job-related deaths, such as heart attacks, increased 62 percent in the first half of 2014 with 13 officer fatalities compared to eight during the same time period last year.

States with the leading number of officer fatalities were California at eight and four in each of the following states: Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia.

For a copy of the full research bulletin, “Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: Mid-Year 2014 Report,” visit www.LawMemorial.org/ResearchBulletin.

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