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Line-of-duty deaths up 7 percent in first half of 2018

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: October 31, 2018

– Excerpted from the Law Enforcement Memorial Fund

Mid-year line-of-duty deaths increased by 7 percent overall in the first half of 2018 compared to the same timeframe last year. But a comparison of firearms-related law enforcement deaths was 24 percent higher by June 30, 2018, according to preliminary data.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s 2018 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report reveals 73 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty as of June 30, 2018 compared to 65 officers during the same period in 2017.

Of the 73 officers, 31 were killed in firearms-related incidents, 27 were killed in traffic-related incidents, and 15 died due to other causes such as job-related illnesses.

“Law enforcement officers put their badges on each day and work to keep citizens and communities safe,” said Memorial Fund CEO Craig W. Floyd. “With 73 officers having made the ultimate sacrifice already this year, this report serves as an important reminder of the debt of gratitude that we owe the 900,000 men and women who serve in law enforcement each day. It’s important for our citizenry to protect America’s peace officers with the same dedication and commitment they show each day in protecting us.”

Firearms-related fatalities were the leading cause of law enforcement deaths for the first half of this year, with 31 fatalities compared to 25 in the same period in 2017. Of the firearms related deaths, eight occurred during arrest attempts, six officers were killed responding to domestic disturbance calls, and three officers died while being ambushed. Other circumstances are included in the 2018 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report.

Traffic-related fatalities increased slightly from 26 by mid-year 2017 to 27 in the first half of 2018. Multiple-vehicle crashes account for 11 of these deaths while nine were the result of single-vehicle crashes. Seven officers were struck and killed outside of their vehicles.

Of the 15 officers who died of other causes, most were job-related illnesses. That number is down 17 percent from the 18 deaths attributed to other causes in the first half of 2017.

The state with the most officer fatalities reported by mid-year is Florida with seven line of duty deaths. New York, North Carolina and Texas each lost four officers while California, Kentucky, Ohio, and South Carolina lost three officers each as of June 30, 2018.

Years of planning and preparations came to fruition with the Oct. 13, 2018 opening of the National Law Enforcement Museum at the Motorola Solutions Foundation Building, a project of the Memorial Fund, in Washington, DC. The Museum’s goal is to expand and enrich the relationship shared by law enforcement and the communities they serve, while providing visitors a “walk in the shoes” experience.

A copy of the full report, “2018 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report,” is available at www.LawMemorial.org/FatalitiesReport.

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