42 officers shot and killed-52 died in traffic-related incidents
Washington, DC-Law enforcement fatalities nationwide rose
slightly during 2015, with 124 federal, state, local, tribal and
territorial officers killed in the line of duty, according to
preliminary data compiled and released today by the National Law
Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) in their 2015 Law
Enforcement Fatalities Report.
The 124 officer fatalities in 2015 represented a four percent increase
from the 119 officers who died in the line of duty in 2014. Of the
124 officers who died this year, 52 died in traffic-related incidents,
42 were killed by gunfire and 30 died as a result of other causes.
The number of officers killed by firearms in 2015 (42) was 14 percent
lower than the 49 who died as a result of gunfire in 2014. Traffic
stops resulted in seven of those shooting deaths, more than any other
category of felonious fatalities in 2015. Two of those officers,
Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate of the Hattiesburg (MS) Police
Department, were gunned down in a traffic stop they conducted on May
Ambush attacks against officers were the second leading cause of
shooting deaths in 2015, accounting for six fatalities. Among them
was Harris County (TX) Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth, who was shot 15
times in an unprovoked attack after filling his marked cruiser up at a
local gas station on August 28.
Fifty-two officers were killed in traffic-related incidents this past
year, which was six percent higher than the 49 who died on roadways in
2014. Traffic-related incidents have been the leading cause of
officer deaths in 15 of the last 20 years.
Thirty officers died due to other causes in 2015, including 24 who
suffered from job-related illnesses-mostly heart
attacks-while performing their duties. Also included among
those 24 are four officers who died of illnesses they contracted as a
result of their rescue and recovery work following the September 11,
2001, terrorist attacks.
There are more than 20,000 names of officers killed in the line of
duty inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in
Washington, DC, dating back to the first known death in 1791. Over the
past decade (2005-2014) the average annual number of officer
fatalities has been 145. The deadliest year on record for law
enforcement was 1930 when 300 law enforcement officers were killed in
the line of duty. The last time officer fatalities dipped below 100
for a single year was 1944.
The statistics released are based on preliminary data compiled by the
NLEOMF and do not represent a final or complete list of individual
officers who will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers
Memorial in 2016. For a complete copy of the preliminary report on
2015 law enforcement fatalities, go to: