Virginia Coalition of Police
and Deputy Sheriffs
Law Enforcement Deaths Rose Sharply During the First Six Months of 2007|
first time since 1978, more than 100 officers killed during first half of year;
fatal shootings, traffic-related deaths both increase
The number of law enforcement officers killed in the United States soared by 44
percent during the first six months of 2007, and for the first time in three
decades, more than 100 officer deaths were recorded by the halfway point of the
year, according to preliminary statistics from the National Law Enforcement
Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS).
The groups' preliminary data indicate 101 local, state and federal law
enforcement officers were killed between January 1 and June 30, 2007, an
increase from the 70 officers who lost their lives during the same period of
2006. The last time the mid-year total was that high was 1978, when there were
105 officer deaths.
Of the 101 officers killed during the first half of 2007, 45 died in
traffic-related incidents. That's an increase of 36 percent from the 33
traffic-related fatalities during the first six months of 2006.
In addition, 39 officers were shot to death during the first six months of this
year, compared with 27 during the same period of 2006, a jump of more than 44
percent. Also this year, seven officers succumbed to job-related illnesses,
three drowned, two were killed in terrorist attacks, two died in aircraft
accidents, and one officer each died from a bomb blast, a boating accident and
being struck by a falling object.
"Though still preliminary, these latest numbers are cause for alarm for two
reasons," said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the NLEOMF. "First, the
recent trend of more officers being killed on our roadways, in vehicle crashes
and while outside their vehicles, appears to continue unabated. Second, we are
now seeing a spike in fatal shootings of officers as well - cases which have
generally been declining in recent years."