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August 13, 2012
U.S. law enforcement fatalities decreased by 44 percent

In a reversal of recent trends, law enforcement fatalities declined significantly nationwide during the first half of 2012, reaching a 52-year low.

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During the first 6 months of this year, 53 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty, according to figures released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in conjunction with the Concerns of Police Survivors. This represents a 44 percent decrease over the 94 officers who died during the same time last year.

Of the 53 officers who were killed during the first 6 months of this year:

  • 21 officers were killed in traffic-related incidents, representing a 36 percent decrease. This includes 17 who died in vehicle crashes, three who were struck by vehicles, and one who was killed in a motorcycle crash.
  • 19 were shot to death, representing a more than a 50 percent decrease from the same period last year.
  • 13 officers died from causes other than traffic or firearms-related incidents, representing a 38 percent decrease. This includes seven officers who died due to physical-related illnesses, three who were stabbed, and three who died in falls.
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