Mid-Year Report: After 48-Year Low, Officer Deaths Rise 20%

After falling to their lowest level in nearly five decades in 2008, line-of-duty deaths among U.S. law enforcement officers rose 20 percent during the first six months of 2009. Still, officer fatalities remain low when compared with mid-year totals in recent history.

Preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) indicate 66 officers died in the line of duty between January 1 and June 30, 2009, compared with 55 deaths during the first six months of 2008.

If current trends continue, 2009 will be the 12th year in a row in which more officers are killed in traffic-related incidents than die from any other cause. Traffic-related incidents include automobile, motorcycle and bicycle crashes, plus officers struck while outside their vehicles.

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