Within the first three months of 2014, there has been a total of 32 line-of-duty deaths among law enforcement officers in the United States. According to the Officer Down Memorial Fund and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund of the 32 fatalities:
- 13 were the result of firearms-related incidents
- 12 were the result of traffic-related incidents
- 6 were the result of medical-related incidents
- 1 was the result of an assault-related incident
Traffic-related injuries and firearms-related incidents, thus far, has accounted for the majority of officer deaths. Of the 13 firearms-related fatalities:
- 12 officers were killed feloniously
- 1 officer was killed accidentally
Of the 12 traffic-related fatalities:
- 11 officers were killed in automobile crashes
- 1 officer was killed in a motorcycle accident
It is important to bring attention to the recurring issue of fatalities caused by firearms and traffic-related incidents. These two causes have accounted for the majority of officer line-of-duty deaths in recent years, and this first quarter recap of 2014 reflects that these trends continue. The IACP has various committees, resolutions, and relevant articles that pertain to reducing traffic-related deaths, which include but are not limited to:
- The Highway Safety Committee – A committee that develops tactics that endorses traffic safety, management, and enforcement.
- The Traffic Officer Safety Subcommittee – A subcommittee that explores better ways to ensure officer safety during traffic stops and other roadside contacts.
- Police Chief Magazine – IACP’s monthly magazine that frequently features articles related to officer traffic safety, such as “Serious about Seat Belts” and “Reducing Officers’ Accidental Deaths”.
The IACP also recognizes the prevailing threat of the criminal use of firearms for law enforcement officers. Because of its significance to an officer’s well-being, the IACP has created or established:
- Violence Against the Police – The IACP and the Bureau of Justice Assistance disseminate actionable information and resources to prevent felonious assaults against law enforcement.
- Ambush Project – The IACP, along with CNA, conducted research on officer ambushes, which will be used to create policy guidelines for future prevention of ambush attacks.
- Gun Violence Reduction – an initiative with the priority of offering training and providing technical assistance to police officers in order to enhance their gun violence reduction strategies.
- Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities – A guide created for law enforcement that includes strategies and programs to reduce gun violence.
It is the IACP’s position that no injury to or death of a law enforcement professional is acceptable, and the IACP Center for Officer Safety and Wellness strives to improve awareness on all aspects of officer safety. To learn more and to share any best practices pertaining to officer safety and wellness please visit http://www.theiacp.org/CenterforOfficerSafetyandWellness or contact the Center staff at email@example.com.