Law enforcement deaths continue to rise: report

Washington – On-duty police officer deaths are on the rise, according to preliminary figures (.pdf file) from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the Concerns of Police Survivors.

Ninety-eight officers died in the first six months of 2011, a 14 percent increase from the 86 officers who died in the same period last year, the NLEOMF report said. This is the second year in a row in which officer fatalities rose in the first half of the year, according to an NLEOMF press release.

“The economy has forced reductions in training, safety equipment and personnel at law enforcement agencies across the country,” NLEOMF Chairman Craig W. Floyd said in the release. “These budget cuts have put our officers at greater risk.”

Of the officers killed so far this year, 40 died as a result of gunfire – a 33 percent increase from the first six months of 2010 and representing a 20-year high. Traffic-related deaths, which for the past 13 years have been the leading cause of law enforcement fatalities, declined 17 percent in the first half of the year to 35.

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