Line of duty deaths plummet in 2013 E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

Perhaps the thing the law enforcement community was most thankful for in 2013 was the good news on officers killed in the line of duty. While car crashes continue to be the most lethal threat that cops face, the news on the number of officers killed feloniously in 2013 is nothing short of shocking. Just 33 law enforcement professionals were killed by gunfire in 2013. That’s the lowest number since 1887, according to a report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

While the number of police officers killed by assailants in the US has been falling steadily in recent years, the 125-year low reported by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is nothing short of historic,.

Overall line-of-duty deaths of federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers dropped to 111 in 2013, representing the lowest total since 1959.

“The only good news is zero deaths, but this very significant drop in law enforcement fatalities the past two years is extremely encouraging,” said Craig Floyd, chairman and CEO of the fund.

“Our organization, in partnership with others, is working hard to create a new culture of safety in law enforcement that no longer accepts deaths and injuries as an unavoidable part of the job. This year’s officer fatality report is strong evidence that this intensified effort to promote law enforcement safety is making a difference.”

The annual report from NLEOMF suggested that an increased culture of safety among law enforcement agencies, including increased use of bulletproof vests is partly responsible for the low numbers.

There was a slight spike in the number of police killed by assailants in 2011 but officer fatalities across all categories have decreased by 34 percent, and gun deaths have fallen by 54 percent in the years since.

Observers say that if more effective campaigns can mounted in order to get more police officers to wear seatbelts as is the case with body armor, the goal of less than 100 law enforcement deaths inn a calendar year might become a reality.

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