Sixty-seven officers have been killed on the job, a 31 percent increase over the same period in 2013.
Photo credit: Jonathan Kozlowski/Officer.com
A mid-year report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Tuesday shows an overall spike in line of duty deaths so far in 2014.
During the first half of the year, 67 officers have been killed on the job, a 31 percent increase over the same period in 2013, according to statistics compiled by the group.
Firearms-related fatalities rose 56 percent, while traffic-related fatalities remain the leading cause, increasing to 37 percent.
Of these 67 fallen officers, 26 were killed in traffic-related incidents; 25 were killed by gunfire; and 16 died due to job-related illnesses and other causes.
"We had seen significant declines in officer fatalities the last two years, so the spike in deaths this year is particularly alarming," NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd said in a statement. "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."
- Traffic-related incidents were once again the leading cause of officer fatalities, with 26 officers killed in the first half of 2014—a 37 percent increase over the same period last year.
- Firearms-related fatalities spiked to 25 in the first half of this year—a 56 percent increase over the first six months of 2013. Investigating suspicious persons or situations was the leading circumstance of fatal shootings, with six officer fatalities; followed by ambushes, with five officer fatalities.
- Sixteen officers died due to other causes in the first half of 2014, the same as the number reported during the same time last year. Job-related illnesses, such as heart attacks, increased 62 percent in the first half of 2014, with 13 officer fatalities compared to eight during the same period last year.
- California led all states with eight officer fatalities; followed by Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia each with four peace officer fatalities.