Open Season on Cops? Statistics Show Increase in Number of Officers Killed in Line of Duty

More than 100 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty last year, an increase from 2017, according to the FBI’s annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2018(LEOKA), according to the National Association of Chiefs of Police..

In 2018, 55 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed and 51 were killed accidentally, for a total of 106 killed for the year.

The previous year, a total of 94 officers were killed in the line of duty.

The FBI collects officer deaths and assault data from law enforcement agencies across the United States and U.S. territories, and publishes it through its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. LEOKA tracks detailed data on officer line-of-duty assaults and deaths, so the information can be used in officer safety training.

Of the officers who were feloniously killed in 2018:

  • The average age was 37.
  • The average tenure in law enforcement was 10 years.
  • Three were female and 52 were male.

Of the officers who were accidentally killed last year:

  • The average age was 36.
  • The average tenure in law enforcement was 10 years.
  • Four were female and 47 were male.

Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: An FBI report shows a rise in line-of-duty deaths of the nation’s law enforcement officers in 2018 when compared to 2017.

The Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report shows that in 2018, a total of 106 officers were killed.

Fifty-five of the officers were killed feloniously, which is nine more deaths than the prior year.

Unit Chief Amy Blasher, who says their average age was 37 years old, explains the circumstances of their deaths.

Amy Blasher: Officers who were feloniously killed died as result of many reasons, such as performing investigative activities, tactical situations, interacting with wanted persons, and 11 of them were ambushed.

Halpern: The numbers of officers feloniously killed fluctuates from year to year.

Blasher: … but looking back at the five- and 10-year comparisons, we do show an increase of four felonious deaths compared to the 2014 figures, and an increase of seven deaths compared to the 2009 data.

Halpern: Of the 106 officers who died on the job in 2018, 51 of them were accidentally killed—that’s an increase of three deaths compared to 2017.

Read the full report at

With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.

Audio Download

Memorial Day Events – Each year during Police Week (the week in which May 15, Police Memorial Day, falls), our facility and its supporting agencies work together to develop programming & observances honoring all officers who have fallen in the line of duty and recognizing their families and agencies.

NACOP Chiefs of Police - James Kouri

Jim Kouri is a member of the Board of Advisors and a former vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in Florida in May 1967. The Association was organized for educational and charitable activities for law enforcement officers in command ranks and supervisory agents of state & federal law enforcement agencies as well as leaders in the private security sector. NACOP also provides funding to small departments, officers and the families of those officers paralyzed and disabled in the line of duty.

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