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64 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Nationwide in First Half of 2015

30 officers were killed in traffic-related fatalities in the first half of 2015—a 20 percent increase

July 21, 2015

Washington, DC—Today the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund issued a new report stating that 64 officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2015—a 3 percent increase over the same period last year (62).

Of these 64 officers, 30 were killed in traffic-related incidents; 18 were killed by gunfire; and 16 died due to job-related illnesses.

Key Facts

  • Traffic-related incidents were once again the leading cause of officer fatalities, with 30 officers killed in the first half of 2015—a 20 percent increase over the same period last year. Twenty-one officers were killed in automobile crashes: 13 were multiple-vehicle crashes up from eight in the same period last year. Eight officers were killed in single-vehicle crashes, the same number as in the first half of 2014. 

  • Firearms-related fatalities dropped to 18 in the first half of this year from 24 during the same period last year—a 25 percent decrease over the first six months of 2014. Four officers were feloniously shot and killed during a traffic stop compared to two officers killed last year. Three officers were shot and killed in ambushes, two officers were killed while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, and two officers were inadvertently shot and killed. Additional circumstances are included in the 2015 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report.

  • Sixteen officers died due to job-related illnesses in the first half of 2015, compared to 13 officer deaths during the same time last year—a 33 percent increase. Heart attacks were the cause of 10 officer deaths, three officers died from illnesses related to September 11, 2001 investigative activities, two officers died from injuries sustained while attempting arrest and one officer died from an injury sustained during a training exercise.

  • Of the 27 officers who died due to other causes this year, 24 were caused by job-related illnesses; one officer was strangled to death; one officer drowned; and one officer was killed in a fire-related incident.

  • Texas led all states with seven officer fatalities; followed by Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi each with five peace officer fatalities. Alabama lost four officers during the period


Supporting Quote:

“Each day some 900,000 men and women work to keep our communities safe, and we owe each of them a debt of gratitude,” declared NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd.  “While I’m concerned to see an increase in traffic-related fatalities—many are often preventable deaths—it’s encouraging to see a decrease in firearms-related fatalities. This report reminds us that much more work needs to be done to improve officer safety and wellness in our country.”  

A copy of the full report, “2015 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report,” is available at www.LawMemorial.org/ResearchBulletin

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About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org

Steve Groeninger
steve@nleomf.org
(202) 737-7135