Within the first six months of 2014, there have been a total of 67 line-of-duty deaths within the law enforcement community in the United States. The IACP examined data from The Officer Down Memorial Fund and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund which reported 59 and 66 deaths respectively and both reported an increase in line of duty deaths from 2013.
Of the 67 fatalities:
- 28 were the result of traffic-related incidents
- 25 were the result of firearms-related incidents
- 12 were the result of medical-related incidents
- 2 were the result of other miscellaneous incidents
The most significant statistic for 2014 thus far is that there have been 10 firearms-related ambush attacks in the first six months, versus seven for all of 2013.
Consistent with the IACP 1st quarter report for 2014, traffic and firearms-related incidents continue to account for the majority of line-of-duty officer deaths.
Of the 28 traffic-related fatalities:
- 20 officers were killed in automobile crashes
- 6 officers were struck and killed while outside their vehicle
- 2 officers were killed in motorcycle crashes
In order to bring attention to the recurring problem of traffic-related injuries and deaths, The IACP continuously highlights new and relevant materials to help law enforcement leaders better address fatalities caused by traffic-related incidents. These include:
- Move Over Campaign– An awareness campaign developed to educate the public on states’ Move-Over Laws and to help protect emergency personnel on roadsides.
- “Is Today Your Day?” – A roll-call video that underscores the tragedies resulting from officers not wearing their seatbelts.
- “Manage to Survive” – A video that highlights officer safety considerations during roadside traffic management.
- The 2011 IACP resolution encouraging mandatory seat belt use by officers.
Of the 25 firearms-related deaths:
- 24 officers were killed feloniously, 10 of which can be classified as ambushes
- 1 officer was killed by accidental gunfire
The IACP provides information regarding ambush attacks against law enforcement through the Ambush Fact Sheet, highlighting statistics on ambush situations that a police officer can encounter on any given day.
Of the 12 medical-related fatalities, 8 were the result of heart attacks. The average age of law enforcement who died from heart attacks is 45.75 years, while the average age for an American is 66 years. The IACP recognizes that cardiovascular health is an important aspect of overall officer wellness. The Impact of Fitness and Weight on Injuries fact sheet and the “Reducing Officer Injuries” final report highlight the importance of physical wellness.
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 best practices pertaining to officer safety and wellness please visit http://www.iacp.org/CenterforOfficerSafetyandWellness or contact the Center staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.