Police Officers Deaths At Lowest Level In 50 Years

12.29.09 | FL News Team

The number of police officers nationwide this year who have died in the line of duty is at the lowest level in 50 years. This is the second consecutive year police deaths have decreased in the U.S. The total number of deaths among federal, state and local law enforcement officers during 2009 is 122. The new data is from a joint report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Fund and Concerns of Police Survivors. However, the study shows the number of officers who died from gunfire this year has risen to 48. That's a 26 percent increase from 2008. At least two incidents were shown to be intentional, premeditated murders. The shooting deaths included the killings of four officers in Oakland, California, and most recently, the four police shot to death in Lakewood, Washington.

 The leading cause of officers' deaths over the year has been from traffic-related accidents. More officers died in traffic incidents than from gunfire or any other reason in 2009 for the 12th straight year. Although that remains the primary cause of police deaths, the number of officers killed in that way is down 22 percent from 2008. Texas leads the nation in the number of police deaths during the year with 11 officer deaths followed by nine in Florida and eight in California.