Law enforcement fatalities have reached a 52-year low after declining significantly during the first six months of 2012. Not since 1962 has the number of police deaths been as low as it is this year. It’s also the first time in two years that the number of police deaths hasn’t risen.
So far this year, there have been 53 law enforcement agents have been killed in the line of duty, according to figures released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and the Concerns for Police Survivors (COPS). The 53 fatalities is a 44 percent decrease from this time last year when 94 police officers had died. It’s also important to note that officer fatalities fell in all categories.
According to the NLEOMF, “Of the 53 officers who were killed during the first six months of this year:
- Twenty-one officers were killed in traffic-related incidents representing a 36 percent decrease during the period. This includes 17 who died in automobile crashes, three who were struck by automobiles while outside of their own vehicles, and one officer who was killed in a motorcycle crash.
- Nineteen were shot to death, representing a more than a 50 percent decrease from the same period last year.
- Thirteen officers died due to causes other than traffic or firearms-related incidents representing a 38 percent decrease. This includes seven officers who died due to physical-related illnesses, three who were stabbed, and three who died in a fall.”
While Florida, Texas, and Georgia were the deadliest states so far with three deaths apiece, Michigan is one of eight others with two deaths. And while police deaths are not at the level we would prefer, a near-50 percent decline is excellent news for law enforcement officers.
“After two years of rising numbers of peace officer fatalities, the law enforcement community has joined together to make officer safety the utmost priority,” said Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd. “It is good to see those efforts paying off and the number of peace officer fatalities decreasing thus far in 2012.”
There’s no guarantee that this decline will continue, but we hope that this trend continues for years to come, not only for the State of Michigan but the rest of the country as well.
If there are many reasons as to why police fatalities are down this year, tell us in the comments! Stay safe out there.