Law enforcement deaths lowest since 2013, report says

The number of law enforcement professionals who died in the line of duty dropped to its lowest total since 2013, according to preliminary data published by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

The data is based on preliminary findings by the nonprofit. 

The nonprofit tracks officer fatalities. According to the nonprofit's findings, 128 officers died in the line of duty in 2017. The number of deaths is the lowest since 2013 when 117 officers died in the line of duty. The 2017 figure represents a 10 percent decrease from 2016 when 143 officers died. 

The 2017 total is the second-fewest officer fatalities reported since the nonprofit began collecting the data in 1977. 

Of the deaths, 47 were traffic-related incidents, while 44 officers were shot and killed across the country in 2017. In 2016, 66 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty. 

The overall total includes job-related ailments such as heart attacks. In 2017, 16 officers died of job-related ailments. Of those, 10 died of a heart attack. Five officers drowned in 2017 from working during hurricanes, according to the report. 

Texas had the most officer fatalities with 14, while New York and Florida each had nine officer deaths.

"After three consecutive years of rising deaths in the law enforcement profession, this year's decline offered some encouraging news," Craig W. Floyd, the nonprofit's CEO, said in a statement. "Sadly, though, the 128 officers who lost their lives in 2017 reminds us that public safety comes at a very steep price and we must never take the service and sacrifice of our policing professionals for granted, nor should we ever forget the officers who died and their families."

 

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