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 1.2 million violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2011, a four percent decrease from 2010.
- Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 19,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 19,981 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
- A total of 1,539 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 57 hours or 154 per year. There were 120 law enforcement officers killed in 2012.
- On average, over the last decade, there have been 58,261 assaults against law enforcement each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries.
- The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,355 officers died, or an average of almost 236 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 293 officers were killed. That figure dropped dramatically in the 1990s, to an average of 161 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 697 deaths. Texas has lost 1,653 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 22.
- There are 1,057 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 610 correctional officers and 31 military law enforcement officers.
- There are 270 female officers listed on the Memorial; twelve female officers were killed in 2012.
- During the past ten years, more incidents that resulted in felonious fatalities occured on Thursday than any other day of the week. The fewest number of felonious incidents occurred on Tuesday.