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51 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Nationwide in First Half of 2013

Firearms-related fatalities decrease to a 57-year low and traffic-related fatalities reach a 34-year low

Washington, DC—Today the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in conjunction with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), issued a new report stating that 51 officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2013—a nine percent increase since last year.

Of these 51 officers, 18 were killed in traffic-related incidents; 17 were killed in firearms-related incidents; and 16 died due to job-related illnesses and other causes.

Key Facts

  • Traffic-related incidents were once again the leading cause of officer fatalities, with 18 officers killed in the first half of 2013—a 34-year low.
  • Firearms-related incidents were the second leading cause of officer deaths, with 17 fatalities. Ambush attacks were the leading circumstance of fatal shootings, with seven officer fatalities.
  • After increasing dramatically in 2010 and 2011, firearms-related fatalities decreased for the second year in a row, hitting a 57-year low.
  • Sixteen officers died due to other causes in the first half of 2013, compared to 10 in 2012. Job-related illnesses, such as heart attacks, increased in the first half of 2013, with 10 officer fatalities.
  • California led all states with seven officer fatalities; followed by Arkansas with six; Louisiana and Texas with three each; and Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, New York and Virginia with two each.

“Though our ultimate goal is zero deaths,” said Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd, “it is encouraging to see preliminary data in line with 2012, which had the lowest number of officer deaths in 52 years,” he said. “We are changing the way people think about law enforcement safety. No longer should any officer’s death or injury be accepted as ‘just part of the job.’”

A copy of the full research bulletin, “Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: Mid-Year 2013 Report,” is available at www.LawMemorial.org/ResearchBulletin.

About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America's law enforcement officers and to promoting officer safety. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 19,981 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of law enforcement in America through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.

About Concerns of Police Survivors
Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc., provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty as determined by Federal criteria. Furthermore, C.O.P.S. provides training to law enforcement agencies on survivor victimization issues and educates the public of the need to support the law enforcement profession and its survivors. For more information, visit www.nationalcops.org.

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