The number of police officers who have died in the line of duty is up 43 percent so far this year, say preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reported by Associated Press. The fund says 87 officers died in the line of duty between Jan. 1 and June 30. That’s compared with 61 officers in the first six months of last year.
The deaths were spread across 36 states and Puerto Rico – with California, Texas, and Florida reporting the most fatalities. Causes of death included traffic accidents and shootings. If the trend continues, 2010 could become one of the deadliest years for U.S. police agencies in two decades. For more on shootings of officers, see The Crime Report’s recent story “Officer Down“