Virginia Coalition of Police
and Deputy Sheriffs
More Than 150 Law
Officers Killed in Line of Duty During 2006
By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor
December 27, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - More than 150 law enforcement officers were killed in the
line of duty nationwide during 2006, with traffic-related deaths jumping
dramatically over the prior year and shooting fatalities dropping.
According to preliminary figures released Wednesday, 151 federal, state and
local law enforcement officers were killed while performing their duties during
the past 12 months.
California had the most fatalities with 17, followed by Virginia with 10, New
York and Texas which both lost nine, and Florida and Illinois with eight each.
These figures were part of a report issued annually and jointly by the National
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and the Concerns of Police
Survivors (COPS), two nonprofit organizations that track officer fatalities.
For the ninth straight year, traffic-related incidents claimed the lives of more
officers (73) than shootings (54) or any other cause of death. Of the 73
officers who died in traffic-related incidents, 47 were killed in automobile
crashes, 15 were struck by vehicles, nine died in motorcycle crashes, and two
died in bicycle crashes.
This represented nearly a 16 percent increase over the 63 officers who were
killed in traffic-related incidents in 2005. The number of officers killed in
shootings declined by nearly nine percent from the 59 who were shot to death in
These numbers are consistent with a historical trend that shows the number of
officers killed in automobile crashes has jumped by 40 percent over the past
three decades, while the number of officers who were shot to death during that
period has declined by roughly the same amount.
Other causes of deaths included job-related illnesses (18), aircraft crashes
(3), beating (1), stabbing (1) and terrorist attack (1). Five of the officers
killed during 2006 were women.
"With the war on terror and recent reports of a surge in violent crime, we
depend on our law enforcement professionals more than ever," declared NLEOMF
Chairman Craig Floyd. "These fatality figures are a shocking reminder of the
sacrifices being demanded of our law officers. We owe all of them, and their
families, a huge debt of gratitude."
"When law enforcement officers die in the line of duty, their families need
strong support," said Jean Hill, National President of COPS. "Concerns of Police
Survivors will be there for the families who lost an officer in 2006,
encouraging them to find that support through the other law enforcement
survivors and COPS programs. COPS saved my life by reaching out to me and my
family in 2001. COPS is ready to do the same for the survivors of 2006."