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Law Enforcement Facts

Key Data about the Profession  

  • There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female.

  • According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, an estimated 1.16 million violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2013, a decrease of 4.4 percent from 2012.

  • Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 20,538 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

  • A total of 1,466 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 60 hours or 146 per year. There were 117 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2014.

  • On average, over the last decade, there have been 58,930 assaults against law enforcement each year, resulting in 15,404 injuries.

  • The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,417 officers died, or an average of almost 241 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 301 officers were killed. That figure dropped dramatically in the 1990s, to an average of 162 per year.

  • The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.

  • New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 701 deaths. Texas has lost 1,695 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 22.

  • There are 1,092 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 633 correctional officers and 34 military law enforcement officers.

  • There are 280 female officers listed on the Memorial; four female officers were killed in 2014.

  • During the past ten years, more incidents that resulted in felonious fatalities occurred on Thursday than any other day of the week. The fewest number of felonious incidents occurred on Tuesday.