After reaching a 50-year low in 2009, the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty surged nearly 43 percent during the first six months of 2010, according to preliminary data released this week by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. If the mid-year trend continues, 2010 could end up being one of the deadliest years for law enforcement in two decades.
A preliminary total of 87 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty between January 1 and June 30, 2010. That compares with 61 officers who were killed during the first six months of 2009, an increase of 42.6 percent. All major categories of officer deaths rose sharply during the first half of 2010: firearms-related fatalities by 41 percent; traffic-related deaths, 35 percent; and all other fatalities combined, 75 percent. Complete details in our latest Research Bulletin.