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Police Deaths Rise in 2000

December 28, 2000

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 150 law enforcement officers across the nation were killed in the line of duty during 2000, representing more than a 10 percent rise in police fatalities over the previous year.

There were 151 federal, state and local law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during the past year, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS). That is 13 percent higher than the 134 officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in 1999.

Of the 151 officers who were killed during the past year, 51 were shot to death; 47 died in automobile accidents; 20 were struck by automobiles while outside of their own vehicles; eight died in motorcycle accidents; seven were killed in aircraft accidents; six succumbed to job-related illnesses; three drowned; three died in falls; two were stabbed; one died in a bicycle accident; one officer was killed in an accident involving a horse; one was beaten to death; and one officer died in a bomb-related incident. Texas was the deadliest state in the nation over the past year for police officers with 15 fatalities; followed by California with 11; and Georgia and Tennessee with 10 each. Six of the officers killed during the past year were women.

"Despite improved equipment and better training, law enforcement remains the deadliest profession in America," declared NLEOMF Chairman Craig W. Floyd. On average, he noted, one police officer is killed somewhere in our country every 57 hours. There are also 62,000 assaults committed against our officers every year, resulting in more than 21,000 injuries. Dating back to the first law enforcement fatality in 1792, more than 15,000 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty.

"The sacrifices made by our police officers, and their families, are too often taken for granted," observed COPS National President Molly Winters. "Not a day goes by that an officer does not risk his or her life for the safety and protection of others."