Police deaths jump in 2010: report

After hitting a 50-year low in 2007, the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed on the job increased almost 43 percent in the first six months of 2010, according to preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington.

A research bulletin (.pdf file) from the organization shows 87 police officers were killed on duty between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year, compared with 61 officers in the same time period last year.

All major categories of officer deaths saw an increase -- firearms-related fatalities rose 41 percent and traffic-related deaths went up 35 percent. The report noted a sharp increase in the number of police officers struck and killed outside their vehicles: 9 in 2010 from 5 in 2009.

If the trend continues, 2010 could be one of the deadliest years for law enforcement in the past two decades, NLEOMF said.

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