Latest Memorial Fund Fatalities Report
Preliminary 2015 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report
According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 124 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2015, a 4 percent increase from 2014, when 119 officers were killed.
Read the preliminary 2015 End-of-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report (published 12/29/2015)
Read the press release (published 12/29/2015)
Firearms-related fatalities peaked in 1973, when 156 officers were shot and killed. Since then, the average number of officers killed has decreased from 127 per year in the 1970s to 57 per year in the 2000s. The 42 firearms-related fatalities in 2015 are 26 percent lower than the average of 57 per year for the decade spanning 2000-2009.
Fatalities by State
Texas had the highest number of fatalities, losing 12 officers in 2015. Eleven officers died in Georgia, nine in Louisiana, and six in both California and New York. Thirty-three states lost at least once officer this year. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia did not lose an officer in 2015.
Of the 42 firearms-related fatalities in 2015, seven officers were shot and killed during traffic stops, more than any other circumstance of fatal shootings. Six officers were killed in ambush attacks and five officers were slain while investigating suspicious persons. Although classified under various circumstances, the investigation of domestic violence was involved in seven of the 2015 shooting deaths.
Of the 35 automobile crashes in 2015, 18 were multiple-vehicle crashes and 17 were single-vehicle crashes. Traffic-related fatalities decreased during the previous decade (2000-2009), but since 2011 they have fallen to the lowest levels since the 1950s. However, traffic related fatalities have been the leading cause of death in 14 of the last twenty years.