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Officer Fatality Report

2016 Preliminary End-of-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report

Law enforcement fatalities nationwide rose to their highest level in five years in 2016, with 135 officers killed in the line of duty, according to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

The full End-of-Year Fatalities Report is available below. To schedule an interview with an expert, contact Steve Groeninger, Senior Director of Communications & Marketing, at (202) 737-7135, or via email at

Read the preliminary 2016 End-of-Year Officer Fatalities Report (published 12/29/2016)

Read the press release (published 12/29/2016)

Report Highlights

The 135 officer fatalities in 2016 is a 10 percent increase over the 123 who died in the line of duty last year and is the highest total since 2011, when 177 officers made the ultimate sacrifice. Firearms-related incidents were the number one cause of death in 2016, with 64 officers shot and killed across the country. This represents a significant spike—56 percent—over the 41 officers killed by gunfire in 2015.

Fatalities by State

Among the states, Texas had the highest number of officer fatalities, with 17, followed by California with 10, Louisiana with nine, and Georgia with eight and Michigan with six.

Circumstances of Fatal Shootings

Of the 64 firearms-related fatalities in 2016, 21 officers were shot and killed without warning in ambush-style shootings. This number is 163 percent higher than 2015 when eight officers were shot and killed in ambush-style attacks.

Circumstances of Traffic Fatalities

In 2016, fifty-three officers died as a result of traffic-related incidents, a 10 percent increase from the 48 traffic-related deaths last year. Of the 28 automobile crashes in 2016, seventeen were multiple-vehicle crashes and 11 were single-vehicle crashes. Traffic-related fatalities decreased during the previous decade (2000-2009), and since 2011 they have fallen to the lowest levels since the 1950s. However, prior to 2016, traffic-related fatalities have been the leading cause of death for officers in 15 of the last 20 years.