Police Fatalities Up In First Half Of 2009

07.13.09 | FL News Team

More U.S. police officers died in the line of duty in the first six months of 2009 than during the same time last year. That's the finding of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which keeps track of police fatalities. According to a report that comes out today, 66 officers were killed in the line of duty from January to June. That's a 20-percent jump from the same months in 2008, when only 55 officers were killed on the job. All types of officer fatalities went up in the first half of the year, including deadly shootings. Traffic-related deaths jumped 17-percent and remained the top cop killer. Still, it wasn't all bad news. Despite the increase, the number of police officer deaths fell short of the midyear average of 76.

 

The report points out that the first half of 2009 saw the second-lowest number of officer deaths since 1965. Memorial fund chairman Craig Floyd told "USA Today," the figures are a sign that police departments are doing a better job of keeping their officers safe by encouraging more officers to use body armor and changing how they go after suspects in high-speed chases. He added, quote, "There are three-times more officers on our streets than in the 1970s, and we have half the number of fatalities."