2021 was the deadliest year in history for law enforcement officers


WASHINGTON DC (January 11, 2022) – The number of nationwide law enforcement professionals who died in the line of duty in 2021 increased 55% from the previous year, according to preliminary data provided by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), the primary authority on officer deaths.

NLEOMF announced in its 2021 Law Enforcement Fatalities Report As of December 31, 2021, 458 federal, state, county, municipal, military, campus, tribal and territorial officers have died in the line of duty in the past year, representing an increase by 55% compared to the 295 officers who died in the line of duty in 2020. In the “Other” causes category, which includes 301 deaths linked to Covid-19, the number of deaths is 338, an increase 63% compared to deaths in the exercise of their functions in 2020 in this category.

“This time of year always reminds us of the sacrifice of law enforcement and the importance of our mission to honor the dead, to tell the story of American law enforcement, and to make it safer for us. those who serve. The year 2021 will be the year of the highest number of deaths in the line of duty since 1930 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in road deaths and ambushes with firearms ” , said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Most important in the 2021 Death Report are the number of officer deaths in the category of “other” causes, which increased by 63% compared to the number of deaths from other causes in 2020 due to officers who died as a result of the Covid-19 contraction in the performance of their duties.

In addition to the 301 deaths from Covid-19, 37 officers died of other causes, including 25 officers who died in the line of duty from health-related illnesses, such as heart attacks, strokes and illnesses. linked to September 11. In addition, 4 officers were beaten and 4 drowned in 2021. There were 2 officers stabbed to death, 1 was killed when their patrol vehicle was washed away by flood waters and 1 was killed in a tornado.

Firearm-related deaths

Gun-related deaths claimed the lives of 62 officers in 2021, a 38% increase from the 45 officers killed in gun-related incidents in 2020.

Of the 62 gun deaths:

  • 19 were ambushed and killed
  • 8 were investigating suspicious activities or people
  • 7 were attempting an arrest
  • 7 were killed in response to calls for domestic unrest, leading to a tactical situation and an ambush
  • 7 were disruption calls, which led to a tactical situation
  • 3 were killed during law enforcement, which led to an ambush
  • 3 were shot dead in response to ongoing burglary or theft calls
  • 3 drug-related investigations were involved
  • 2 were killed in tactical encounters
  • 2 were inadvertently and accidentally shot
  • 1 was killed during an encounter with a suicidal subject

Traffic-related deaths

Traffic-related deaths increased by 38% with 58 deaths in 2021 compared to 42 deaths in 2020.

Of the 58 traffic-related deaths:

  • 19 were automobile accidents involving a collision with another vehicle or a fixed object
  • 9 were single vehicle accidents
  • 27 were struck by deaths
  • 3 police officers were killed in motorcycle crashes

Top 6 States With Most Law Enforcement Fatalities

  • Texas has seen the highest number of law enforcement fatalities of any state in the United States with 84 deaths in the line of duty.
  • Florida had the second highest number with 52 officer deaths.
  • Georgia had the third highest number with 39 officer deaths.
  • California had the fourth highest number with 24 officer deaths.
  • North Carolina had the fifth highest number with 21 officer deaths.
  • Tennessee had the sixth highest number with 18 officer deaths.

In addition, 45 federal agents, 7 territorial agents and 3 tribal agents died in the line of duty this year. Only 10 states and the District of Columbia have not lost any officers this year.

There were 417 men killed in the line of duty and 41 women. The average age of fallen officers is 48, with 17 years of service. On average, officers left behind two children.

There are currently 22,611 names of officers killed in the line of duty listed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, dating back to the first known death in 1786. The deadliest year on record for the Law enforcement was 1930 when 312 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.

The statistics published are based on preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and do not represent a final or complete list of individual officers who will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2022.

Marcia Ferranto, CEO of NLEOMF, and Troy Anderson, Executive Director of Agent Safety and Welfare, will address the public via Livestream at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time today about the results. To watch the live stream, log on to NLEOMF Facebook page Where watch on youtube.

For a full copy of 2021 Law Enforcement Fatalities Report, go to: www.LawMemorial.org/FatalitiesReport.

To schedule an interview, contact Colby Jordon at 601-664-2010, or by email at [email protected]

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About the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum

Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the history of Honoring the Dead, the history of American law enforcement, and making it safer for those who serve. . The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which honors the names of all 22,611 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout United States history (through 2020) . The National Law Enforcement Museum (LawEnforcementMuseum.org) is committed to preserving the history of U.S. law enforcement and sharing experiences of service and sacrifice for generations to come.


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