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Deaths of U.S. Law Enforcement Officers Could Reach 2-Decade High

fatalaties chartBy Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — In 2009, the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty reached a 50-year low. That downward trend is gone.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (NLEOMF)  in Washington is reporting a 43 percent increase of officers killed in the line of duty during the first six months of 2010 compared to last year. Five of those were federal law enforcement officers, including a Border Patrol agent.

If the trend continues, the organization said, 2010 may prove to be the most deadly in two decades.

Preliminary statistics show that 87 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty between January 1 and June 30, 2010 compared to 61 during the same stretch in 2009, a 42.6 percent, the law enforcement organization said.

Specifically, NLEOMF reported firearm-related deaths increased 41 percent, from 22 during the first six months of 2009 to 31 in the first half of 2010.

Traffic-related fatalities were up 35 percent, from 31 at mid-year 2009 to 42 as of June 30 of this year, according to the NLEOMF data.

Five of the officers worked for the federal government: Border Patrol Agent Mark Van Doren, 40, who died on May 23, 2010 when his patrol car collided with a steer and a tree in Texas, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Court Security Officer, Stanley Cooper, 72, of the U.S. Marshals died during a shootout at the federal courthouse in Las Vegas.

The other federal law enforcement officers who died included: Tauveve Vivao of U.S. Department of Defense-Marine Corpse Base, Police Officer Joshua Yazzie of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Officer Christopher Uptown of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service

“It is certainly disheartening that last year’s encouraging news on officer fatalities has not continued into 2010,” said NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd said in a statement. “These latest figures provide a grim reminder that, even with all of the safety improvements that have been achieved in recent decades, our law enforcement officers still face grave, life-threatening dangers each and every day.”


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