After an unexpected surge in 2007, the number of law enforcement officers killed in the United States plummeted 41 percent during the first six months of this year, reaching the lowest level in more than four decades. That’s the finding of a new Research Bulletin issued by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), in conjunction with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).
The groups’ preliminary data show 59 officers died between January 1 and June 30, 2008. The last time the mid-year total was that low was 1965, when there were 55 line-of-duty deaths. By comparison, 100 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the first six months of 2007. That was the highest six-month total since 1978. By the end of 2007, a total of 181 law enforcement officers had lost their lives in the line of duty, which was 20 percent higher than the previous year.
“While these statistics offer little comfort to the loved ones and colleagues of those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice this year, for the law enforcement profession as a whole the preliminary numbers for 2008 are encouraging, especially in light of the dramatic increase in officer deaths that occurred just last year,” said NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd. “It is our hope that 2008 will usher in a new era in which far fewer law enforcement officers are injured or killed in the line of duty,” he added.