According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 51 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2013. This is a 9 percent increase over the same period in 2012.
Traffic-related fatalities were once again the leading cause of officer deaths, with 18 officers killed in the first half of 2013, matching the same period in 2012.
Firearms-related fatalities were the second leading cause of death among our nation’s law enforcement officers in the first half of 2013, dropping 11 percent with 17 fatalities compared to 19 in the same period last year. Of the 17 firearms-related fatalities, seven officers were killed in ambush attacks—the most of any circumstance of fatal shootings in 2013. This is the second year in a row in which ambushes were the leading cause of deaths. During this same time period in 2012, four officers were shot and killed in ambushes.
The first half of 2013 saw a 60 percent increase in other causes of officer fatalities unrelated to firearms or traffic. Sixteen officers died in the first half of 2013 compared to ten in the 2012 period. Job-related illnesses, such as heart attacks, drastically rose in the first half of 2013, with ten officer deaths compared to two officers during the same time period in 2012.
Forty-seven fallen officers were male and four were female. Their average age was 42 years, with 14 years of service. On average, each officer left behind two children.
Read the full report at www.LawMemorial.org/ResearchBulletin.