144 Law Enforcement Officers Died in the Line of Duty in 2018


Tabor Law Firm in Indianapolis serves as the official personal injury and wrongful death attorneys for both the Indiana State Police Alliance and Indiana Sheriffs’ Association. We understand the unique dangers law enforcement officials are put in every day. We believe the best way to serve our community is to focus our compassion, expertise, and determination for those that serve.

The USA Today published an article stating that more law enforcement officers — 144 — died in the line of duty in the United States in 2018 than in 2017. This reversed a one-year decline, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The nonprofit group that tracks officer fatalities said the 144 federal state, local, tribal and territorial deaths this year so far this year are up from 129 in 2017.

Last year’s deaths had marked a sharp drop from 159 fatalities in 2016.

LEO Deaths

“The rising number of law enforcement officer deaths in 2018 is disappointing news after a decline in 2017,” said Craig W. Floyd, CEO of the memorial fund. “Sadly this reminds us that public safety is a dangerous job and can come at a very steep price.”

Of those killed in 2018, 134 were male and 10 were female. The average age was 41 years with an average length of 12 years of service.

Most of the officers were shot or fatally injured in car crashes. Others died from heart attacks, drownings and cancer and other illnesses developed by responders to the World Trade Center attack.

The 52 fire-arms related deaths were a 13 percent increase over 2017. Fourteen of those occurred while the officer was trying to place an individual under arrest, the report said. Nearly two-thirds were shot and killed by a handgun; four officers were fatally shot by their own weapons after being disarmed.

If you’re wondering how Indiana faired… Texas, Florida, California, and New York had the highest number of officer fatalities with 11 each. North Carolina had seven deaths; South Carolina, Georgia, and Indiana each had five. Two territorial officers and 10 federal officers also died in 2018.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia did not lose an officer in 2018.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington is inscribed with 21,541 names of officers killed in the line of duty dating to the first known death in 1791.

The deadliest year on record was 1930 when 307 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty, the group said. The last time the number of fatalities fell below 100 for a single year was 1944.

At Tabor Law Firm we value each life. Whether the event occurred during the line of duty or off duty. Tabor Law Firm is here to represent officers and their families.

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