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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 1,165,383 violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2014, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the 2013 estimate.

  • 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 20,789 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

  • A total of 1,439 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 61 hours or 144 per year. There were 123 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2015.

  • There have been 15,725 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2014, resulting in 13,824 injuries.

  • The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,437 officers died, or an average of almost 243 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 304 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 705 deaths. Texas has lost 1,682 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 23.

  • There are 1,102 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 668 correctional officers and 36 military law enforcement officers.

  • There are 292 female officers listed on the Memorial; eleven female officers were killed in 2015.

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