Law Enforcement Officer Deaths Decline

Law Enforcement Officer Deaths Decline



Fewer law enforcement officers died in​ the​ line of​ duty in​ 2005 than in​ previous years because of​ improvements in​ body armor,​ better training and less-lethal weapons.

A recent report indicates that 153 law enforcement officers across the​ nation died in​ the​ line of​ duty,​ marking a​ continued downward trend over the​ past 30 years.

During the​ 1970s,​ more than 220 officers were killed each year,​ making it​ the​ deadliest decade in​ law enforcement history. But with the​ exception of​ 2001 and the​ high number of​ officers killed in​ the​ 9/11 attacks,​ the​ officer fatality rate has declined to​ 160 per year.

California,​ which lost 17 officers over the​ past year,​ had the​ nation's most line-of-duty fatalities,​ followed by Texas,​ with 14,​ and Georgia,​ with 10. These figures were released by the​ National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and the​ Concerns of​ Police Survivors (COPS),​ two nonprofit organizations. While deaths have declined,​ further safety measures are called for.

"The fact remains that an​ officer dies nearly every other day,​ and we​ need to​ stay focused on​ the​ measures that will protect their lives,​" said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Chairman Craig W. Floyd.

The NLEOMF and its partner organization,​ the​ International Association of​ Chiefs of​ Police (IACP),​ noted the​ importance of​ body armor.

According to​ the​ IACP Dupont Kevlar Survivors' Club®,​ which tracks incidents in​ which the​ armor has saved officers' lives,​ nearly 3,​000 officers have been protected from potentially fatal injuries since 1975.

Because this is​ the​ second consecutive year in​ which traffic-related accidents either equaled or​ topped gunfire as​ the​ leading cause of​ death,​ the​ NLEOMF and COPS are calling for better driver training for officers,​ safer automobiles,​ and a​ driving public that is​ more attentive to​ officer safety when approaching accident scenes and traffic stops.

Every officer who died in​ the​ line of​ duty during 2005 will be honored at​ a​ Candlelight Vigil on​ May 13,​ 2006,​ during National Police Week.

"When law enforcement officers die in​ the​ line of​ duty,​ their families need strong support. Concerns of​ Police Survivors will be there for the​ families who lost an​ officer in​ 2005,​" said COPS National President Shirley Gibson,​ whose son,​ Police Master Patrol Officer Brian T. Gibson,​ was killed in​ 1997.




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