73 law enforcement officers killed in first half of 2018; gun-related deaths up 24 percent


A total of 73 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2018 -- a 12 percent increase over last year, according to a preliminary report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Florida leads the country in officer fatalities -- seven officers have been killed in the line of duty in that state as of June 30, 2018.

New York, North Carolina and Texas have each lost four officers. 

California, Kentucky, Ohio, and South Carolina have each lost three officers.

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Of all the 73 officers killed, 31 died during an incident with a firearm -- up 24 percent from last year. 

Eight of these deaths happened while the officer attempted to arrest a suspect, the report finds. Six officers have been killed while responding to disturbance calls. Three have died during an ambush.

Traffic deaths are the second leading cause of death among law enforcement officers, and the numbers are up slightly in the first half of 2018.

Twenty-seven officers have been killed in traffic-related calls. Eleven of those deaths were in multi-car crashes. Nine officers have been killed in single-car crashes, and seven officers have died after being struck outside of their cars.

Fifteen other officers have died of other causes -- a majority of which were job-related illnesses where an officer collapsed due to a heart attack.

Six first responders have died this year from illnesses related to the 9/11 attack.

One officer was beaten to death, and another drowned, according to the report.

Of the 73 officers who have died in the first half of 2018, 68 were male and 11 were female. Their average age was 39, with 11 years of service, the report states. 

On average, each officer left behind two children.


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