Law Enforcement Deaths Decrease By 8 Percent; Death By Firearms At Lowest Rate In 50 Years
A new report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) shows the number of law enforcement deaths by firearms have hit a 50-year low, SeattlePi.com reported.
In addition to the declining death rate, the amount of deaths in the line of duty also decreased by 8 percent and were the fewest since 1959. In total, 111 federal, state, local, and tribal officers were killed in the line of duty in 2013 compared to the 121 officers killed in 2012.
In traffic-related accidents, 46 officers were killed and firearm-related incidents killed 33 officers, marking the lowest rate of firearms deaths since 1887 with a 33 percent drop.
The newly published report credits an increase in the culture of safety among law enforcement agencies, specifically the increase of bulletproof vests, to helping the decline in deaths.
"We're trying to get it to where officer injuries and deaths are no longer accepted as an unavoidable part of the job," said Craig Floyd, NLEOMF chairman and CEO.
"More than 30% of the officers killed in the line of duty over the past two years were not wearing their body armour. Forty-two percent of the officers killed in auto crashes the last couple of years were not wearing their seatbelts."
In the past two years, officer deaths in all categories declined by 34 percent and firearms deaths dropped by 54 percent.
Texas and California were listed with the highest amount of officer deaths this year, with 13 and 10, respectively.
Aside from dying in the line of duty, a total of 14 law enforcement officers died from suffering heart attacks while on the job.