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How Many Police Officers Die A Year

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Police Shootings In The United States

29-year Rochester police veteran killed, another officer hurt in shooting ambush

Police shootings are an issue of great concern and controversy in the United States, which has the highest number of police shootings of any developed country and the highest rate of private gun ownership in the world. In addition to the sheer number of police shootings, the killings of 17-year-old Tamir Rice, whose killer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted after claiming self-defense and emergency medical worker Breonna Taylor, who was shot by plainclothes detectives who may have failed to identify themselves as police before breaking down her door, have sparked massive protests and concerns about racial inequality in the U.S. justice system.

The specific reasons for the abnormally high number of police shootings in the U.S., as well as their racial disparity, are matters of considerable debate. Also, while the number of police shootings in the U.S. is still abnormally high, it is noteworthy that once that number is evaluated in relation to the total population, the U.S. drops out of the top ten. When compared by the number of police killings per 10 million residents, the U.S. ranks 33rd. While this is an improvement, its number of 28.54 per 10 million residents is nearly double that of the next-highest developed country and nearly three times that of Canada .

Firearms Often Used To Kill Police

More than 83 per cent of slain police officers were killed with a firearm. In 11 cases, the assailant used a vehicle or a knife as the weapon. Overall, the number of police homicides is in decline since the 1970s.

The Statistics Canada study from 2010 found that about 80 per cent of officers killed with a firearm were not wearing bulletproof vests. However, this trend has decreased significantly since the mid-1980s.

The same study found most officers were attacked by surprise only a third had the chance to draw their gun or fire a shot before their death.

Which Areas Of The Us Had The Highest Number Of Law Enforcement Officers Killed On Duty

Fourteen officers were killed in cities with less than 10,000 residents, the highest amount of any city size. Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan police departments had similar amounts of deaths, at 13 and 12 officers killed respectively.

Seventy officers were killed in the South, more than three times the rate of any other region. The South also has roughly double the amount of law enforcement officers than any other region, according to BLS employment data.

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Likely A Record Breaking Year For Deaths By Police In Canada

Each year approximately five million Canadians encounter some type of confrontation with police. The majority of these occurrences end without incident, however, roughly 30 civilians die each year following an encounter with the police in Canada. This year has been an especially violent one with 30 civilians killed after police used force during the first half of 2020.

There is no official agency in Canada collecting or tracking the details of these police vs. civilian incidents of death. CBC researchers, therefore, began tracking encounters between police and civilians that ended in death in an effort to build a national database and gain insight into the circumstances surrounding these fatal confrontations.


CBC researchers examined thousands of independent investigator reports, coroner reports, court records, news reports and conducted family interviews to create the Deadly Force database, which is updated and maintained by CBCs own researchers. The database does not include those who suffered in-custody deaths, self-inflicted wounds as a result of suicide or attempts to evade the police, or accidental police-related deaths .

CBC researchers found more than 460 incidents between 2000 and 2017. Approximately 70% of the cases involved fatal police shootings.

CBC researchers also found that the number of cases of civilian death following police encounters has risen over the past 20 years.



Record Number Of Law Enforcement Officers Killed In Line Of Duty In 2021 Most From Covid: Report

Ambushes and Fatal Shootings Fuel Increase in Deaths of Police in 2016 ...

COVID-19 was the leading cause of death, claiming the lives of 301 officers.

A record number of law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2021, according to a report from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund Wednesday, with most losing their lives to COVID-19.

In 2021, 458 law enforcement officers died — up 55% from 2020, according to the report.

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More: In 2020 62% Of Police Deaths Were Caused By Covid: One Officer’s Story

Customs and Border Patrol Agent David Ramirez was among those who died due to complications of COVID-19. Ramirez, a father of three, was assigned to the Sector Intelligence Unit/Joint California Forensics Center in San Diego, according to Customs and Border Protection.

“This years statistics demonstrate that Americas front-line law enforcement officers continue to battle the deadly effects of the Covid-19 pandemic nationwide,” the report said. Law enforcement officers nationwide continue to be exposed to the Covid-19 virus in the course of their daily assignments therefore, the number of line-of-duty deaths is sadly ever-increasing.”

Officers like Lubbock County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Joshua Bartlett were among the 62 officers killed by guns in 2021.

In the morning hours of July 15, a man was stopped by the Texas Highway Patrol for reckless driving. According to the NODEM page, the subject returned home after the incident and began walking around his neighborhood with a gun. When the SWAT team and Bartlett showed up, the suspect allegedly opened fire after barricading himself in his house, killing Bartlett, a military veteran.

The increase in officers killed by a gun increased by 36% from 2020. Handguns were the leading cause of death in the firearm category with eight in October, making it the deadliest month in 2021.

Traffic-related incident killings, such as during stops, saw an increase of 38% from 2020.

To Protect And Serve Requires A Vaccine

And yet, sadly, officers have been hesitant, and it has led to their preventable, premature deaths and no telling how many other deaths of those they encountered on the job.

The chronologically listed deaths of the officers tell the story.

In January, a month when COVID-19 vaccinations were just becoming available, 54 law-enforcement officers died in the line of duty, with 38 of those deaths due to COVID.

These officers likely died from COVID before they could get the vaccine that would save their lives. Same thing goes with some of the 20 officers who died from COVID in February.

But from March to June, the life-saving effects of the vaccine were becoming apparent in the officer mortality rates. For the first time this year, officers were more likely to die for some other reason than a COVID illness during those four months.

COVID killed a steady six officers per month, accounting for three out of every 10 officer deaths.

Then the more deadly, and easier-spread delta variant of the virus took hold. By July, COVID was the predominant killer of law-enforcement officers again.

And in August and September, it became rare for officers to die of anything else but COVID-19.

The deadliest month of this year, August, had 64 COVID deaths, compared to 13 from all other causes. Septembers COVID deaths were 62 out of the 70 total law-enforcement officer deaths.

Where these COVID deaths were happening told another story.

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Us Police More Likely To Die By Homicide

Over the past decade in Canada, there has been an average of 1.8 police killed by homicide per year. Statistics Canada estimates there are about 70,000 sworn officers in the country.

In contrast, figures from the U.S. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show there is close to one police officer killed on the job per week. The Bureau of Justice Statistics pegs the total number of sworn officers in the U.S. at more than 750,000.

Law Enforcement Officer Motor Vehicle Safety

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Motor vehicle-related incidents are a leading cause of line-of-duty deaths for law enforcement officers in the United States they are also preventable.1 From 2011-2020, 454 officers died due to motor vehicle related incidents 33% of all line-of-duty deaths 2. It is important to promote motor vehicle safety among officers so they can stay safe while working to make communities safer.

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List Of British Police Officers Killed In The Line Of Duty

This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. The specific problem is: Currently, the criteria seems to be inappropriate to qualify for a death being put on this list, please refer to talk page for the discussion about changing this criteria or removing various deaths which fail to fit this criteria. Please help improve this article if you can.

Thousands of police officers in Britain are believed to have died during the course of their duties, but this article includes only those who were killed as a direct result of a crime or while attempting to respond, prevent, stop or solve a specific criminal act. The list is currently incomplete and misses many of those who died in more regular circumstances such as traffic collisions, as well as the many killed by air raids during the Second World War. The list also omits the more than 300 officers of the former Royal Ulster Constabulary .

Gravest Threats To Law Enforcement In 2020

While Covid-19 and gun violence were the two gravest threats to law enforcement in 2020, they were not the only ones, according to the National Law Enforcement Memorial report. 44 officers were killed in Traffic Related Fatalities, which also represented an increase over 2019, where there were 43 such fatalities. Crashes with another vehicle was the leading subset of these fatalities, with 18 reported deaths, and the second leading cause within this grouping was struck on side of road, with 15 such deaths.

Finally, there were other minor contributors to 2020s statistics. These include medical incidents such as heart attacks, of which Officer Down reported 6 such fatalities, in addition to 4 drownings, and 1 heatstroke. And sadly, the tragedy of 9/11 continues to play a role in police officer fatalities, with 7 September 11th related cancer deaths.

Being a police officer or law enforcement agent will forever be a dangerous job. But 2020 marked a disturbing shift in the number of officers being killed in this country.

While on one hand, we expect the Covid-19 pandemic to come under control, the ever-shifting goalposts for when that will happen, or when the government will be able to provide vaccines and emergency funding means that it may indeed continue to disproportionately take officers lives in the days ahead. But one day in the future, it will end.

American Police Officers Alliance

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The Number Of Us Police Officers Killed In The Line Of Duty Increased Last Year

The FBI has released its latest statistics regarding line-of-duty deaths and/or assaults on law enforcement officers in the United States. A total of 106 police officers lost their lives on duty last year, a 13% increase on 2017. 55 officers were feloniously killed while 51 died accidentally. The average age of officers killed feloniously was 37 and they had an average tenure of 10 years in law enforcement. Three were female and 52 were male.

When it comes to the circumstances behind non-accidental deaths, 23 officers were killed in the course of investigative or enforcement activities. Another 11 lost their lives in ambushes while six died in pursuits. Line-of duty deaths occurred in 28 states and Puerto Rico. Out of all states, Georgia had the highest number of police officer deaths in 2018 with five, followed by Florida and California with four each. 55 of the officers who died in 2018 were killed with firearms.

*Click below to enlarge

U.S. police officers feloniously and accidentally killed in the line of duty.


What Do We Know About Law Enforcement Officer Crashes

Data on police officers killed since 1961

In the last 10 years, on average, an officer per week has been killed on our nations roads .1 Most years, motor vehicle-related incidents including crashes and being struck by moving vehicles while on foot are the main cause of death for officers. 2016 was an anomaly in that motor vehicle-related deaths came second to firearms. Since 2016, homicides have been leading cause of death.

From 2011-2020, excluding COVID-19 deaths:1

  • 1,387 officer line-of-duty deaths
  • 286 officer line-of-duty deaths due to vehicle crashes
  • 114 officer line-of-duty deaths due to being struck by a vehicle

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How Many Police Officers Die In The Line Of Duty

Officer deaths increased 29% in 2021. Yet the profession is still not among the deadliest.

In 2021, 129 officers died in the line of duty, according to the FBIs Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted database. Seventy-three of those officers were killed feloniously, almost entirely by firearms. However, law enforcement does not rank in the top ten most deadly professions in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics .

The FBI collects data from law enforcement agencies in the US on assaults and deaths of officers. Deaths are broken down into two categories: felonious, meaning purposefully killed, and accidental. The available data only includes deaths occurring on the job. It doesnt include work-related exposures that may lead to illness or death. COVID-19, 9/11-related illnesses, and suicides are all excluded from the data.

Study: Police More Likely To Die By Suicide Than In Line Of Duty

WAUSAU, Wis. – As the United States continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, theres another deadly trend that has been on the minds of law enforcement officials for decades police officer suicides.

People have been throwing the word around a lot these days, pandemic. The police officer suicide issue has been a pandemic for probably 20-plus years, said Doug Wyllie, a spokesman with BLUE H.E.L.P., a national organization that in part helps police officers struggling with mental health issues to connect with proper resources in their respective area. More officers die by their own hand than felonious assault every year, and its usually two times as many.

Numbers released by Blue H.E.L.P. in January of 2020 showed that in 2019, 228 American police officers died by suicide. That research showed an increase from a study done by The Ruderman Family Foundation released in 2018. That study showed that in 2017, while 129 officers died in the line of duty, 140 died by suicide.

There has been an uptick, it seems, in the number of reported law enforcement officer suicides, Wyllie explained. We dont know if thats because there are more suicides or more reporting.

Doctor Brian Weiland is a licensed psychologist at the Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau. He explains how dealing with the stresses of police work can add to mental health issues.

Chief Bliven says its not only important for officers to recognize the importance of mental health, but the community as well.

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Five Times As Many Police Officers Have Died From Covid

The coronavirus has become the leading cause of death for officers despite law enforcement being among the first groups eligible to receive the vaccine at the end of 2020.

— Jessica Desfosses shared the final heartrending text messages she exchanged with her police officer husband in the days before he died from COVID-19.

Law Enforcement Officers Dying In The Line Of Duty Spiking Across America

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Police deaths mirror the increase in violent crime across the country. There were 56 shootings of four or more people in May, the highest number of mass shootings of any month since the Gun Violence Archive, a research nonprofit, started tracking the data in 2013. Homicides are up by 20 percent or more in cities large and small.

Included among the deaths has been a litany of police killings.

Last month in California, two police officers were shot and killed in two separate incidents.

In April, a Capitol police officer was killed when a man drove into him as he rammed a barrier.

In February, two FBI agents were shot and killed in Miami while attempting to serve an arrest warrant in a child pornography case.

The FBI director revealed to Congress Tuesday he has made a condolence call each time it happens.

Since August of 2017 when I started in this job, Ive made more than 200 of those calls, he said. And with each one I think about the friends and family members rocked by the loss of a loved one, the careers cut short and the communities hurting.

He added, It takes a pretty special person to get up in the morning and put his or her life on the line for a total stranger.

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What Job Hazards Do Law Enforcement Officers Face

There are more than 750,000 state and local law enforcement officers.2 These officers face many job hazards, including: physical exertion, psychological and organizational stressors, and health issues. Some behavior-related hazards that put officers at risk of a crash on the job are:

  • Not wearing a seat belt
  • Speeding, particularly through intersections
  • Being distracted while using a mobile data terminal or other in-care electronics
  • Experiencing tunnel vision from increased stress

New Fact Sheet

Learn what law enforcement agencies can do to prevent motor vehicle collisions.

Police Officer Deaths In 2020

Law Enforcement is a noble career in which men and women in uniform go out into our communities each and every day to ensure the safety of our families, our friends, and our communities. Police officers across America get up each morning ready to serve so that we may feel more secure. It is a rewarding job. It is a risky one. And in 2020, it was more dangerous than it had been in years.

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