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Posted at 1:11 PM ET, 12/28/2010

Officer line of duty deaths up in 2010

By Mary Pat Flaherty

A total of 160 officers from the federal and local levels died in the line of duty as of mid-day Dec. 27, an increase over the 117 killed in 2009 when those deaths reached a 50-year low, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Most died in traffic-related incidents. The 2010 tally does not include the death of a Georgia State Patrol trooper shot twice in the face Monday night after an attempted traffic stop and brief chase in Atlanta.

More officers, 18, were killed in Texas than in other states. The agencies with the most deaths were the California Highway Patrol and Chicago Police Department, each with five, the memorial fund reported.

Traffic deaths remained by far the leading cause of officer line of duty deaths as they has been for the past 13 years, with 73 officers killed in traffic-related incidents in 2010 compared to 51 in 2009, the organization announced.

Officers shot and killed were also up, with 59 such deaths in 2010, a spike over the 49 killed in 2009 driven in part by shootings of clusters of officers in Fresno, West Memphis, Ark., and Hoonah, Alaska, Tampa and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A Washington Post investigation found that 511 police officers were killed by firearms in the United States from the beginning of 2000 through this past Sept. 30. The Post tracked how the killers got their guns.

By Mary Pat Flaherty  | December 28, 2010; 1:11 PM ET
Categories:  Around the Nation, Crime Statistics, Mary Pat Flaherty  
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Texas has the highest number of policemen killed and is also the state with the highest number of executions of criminals.

the death penalty has been proven to not be a deterent to crime, and infact probably increases the likelyhood of criminals making sure there are no witnesses left alive or "fighting to the death" with police when cornered.

I'm glad I don't live in Texas.

Posted by: MarilynManson | December 28, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

you can't go by pure numbers alone. Texas is a VERY large state, with a very large population. What is the number of executions per capita? I think *that* would be a more realistic basis for comparison.

Posted by: pgcoresident | December 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

It is tragic when officers are lost in the line of duty. Although the death penalty does deter recidivism, when carried out, the article doesn't mention Texas being one of the states that has an increase in officers killed by weapons.

Posted by: PGneedsaccountability | December 29, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

"A Washington Post investigation found that 511 police officers were killed by firearms in the United States from the beginning of 2000 through this past Sept. 30. The Post tracked how the killers got their guns."

What does this have to do with anything? The vast majority of them died in traffic accidents (a 43% increase, accounting for not only the largest number, but also by far the majority of the increase), not shootings. And that's true for every year this decade. For example (and take note here MarilynManson), of the 18 officers killed in Texas this year, only two were shot. All the 16 others died in vehicular accidents. Funny how that doesn't come up. You just let it sound like they were killed in assaults. That's also why the California Highway Patrol was the agency with the highest number of deaths. They were hit by cars on accident, not shot. Why are you trying so hard to make this report, which is by far more about traffic fatalities than anything else, an anti-gun statement? It's just pathetic.

Posted by: Rob29 | December 30, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

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