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Number of Officers Fatally Shot in Line of Duty Expected to Hit 50 Year Low

FBI Agent Sam Hicks was fatally shot Nov. 19

FBI Agent Sam Hicks was fatally shot Nov. 19

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed by gunfire this year is expected to hit a 50 year low, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial fund.
The Washington-based organization said Monday an analysis of preliminary data showed that 41 officers were fatally shot this year, a 40 percent dip from 68 in 2007. This year’s figure was the lowest since 1956 when 35 deaths were recorded. In contrast, 156 law enforcement officers were killed in 1973.
Overall, in the line of duty deaths dropped from 181 in 2007 to 140 this year, the law enforcement organization said. Just over half of the overall deaths in 2008  were traffic related.
“2007 was a wake-up call for law enforcement in our country, and law enforcement executives, officers, associations and trainers clearly heeded the call, with a renewed emphasis on officer safety training, equipment and procedures,” said NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd in a statement. “The reduction in firearms-related deaths is especially stunning, given the tremendous firepower possessed by so many criminals today. The fact that law enforcement has been able to drive down the crime rate, and do so with increased efficiency and safety, is a testament to the hard work and professionalism of our officers.”
Specifically, the organization said Texas recorded the most law enforcement officer fatalities with 14 followed by California with 12 and Florida and Pennsylvania, both with eight. Half of Pennsylvania’s deaths were in the Philiadelphia Police Department.
Eight federal law enforcement officers were killed this year including Samuel Hicks, an FBI agent in the Pittsburgh office who was fatally shot on Nov. 19 while serving a drug-related search warrant. Last year, 17 federal officers were killed.


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