Report: LE LODDs down 61% in 2022, but firearms-related deaths significantly higher

By Ashley Silver

WASHINGTON — According to preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), law enforcement line of duty deaths are down 61% this year compared to the same period last year.

The 2022 End-of-Year Preliminary Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report reported that 226 federal, state, county, municipal, military, tribal and campus officers died in the line of duty in 2022, with the top causes of officer deaths related to firearms and COVID-19.

In 2022, 64 officers were shot and killed in firearms-related incidents. This number closely mirrors the number of firearms-related deaths in 2021, with both years seeing a 21% increase when compared to the average of 53 firearms-related deaths between 2010 and 2020.

“While overall line-of-duty deaths are trending down, the continuing trend of greater-than-average firearms-related deaths continues to be a serious concern,” Marcia Ferranto, NLEOMF CEO, said. “Using and reporting on this data allows us to highlight the continuing cost of maintaining our democracy, regrettably measured in the lives of the many law enforcement professionals who sacrifice everything fulfilling their promise to serve and protect.”

In 2022, 70 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty as a result of contracting COVID-19, an 83% drop compared to the 405 officers killed in 2021. Furthermore, traffic-related fatalities decreased by 3%, with 56 deaths in 2022 compared to 58 deaths in 2021. While overall traffic-related fatalities are down, the 40 fatal crashes in 2022 (automobile/motorcycle) represent an increase of 29% compared to fatal crashes in 2021. Fatalities from officers being struck outside of their patrol vehicle dropped 41% from 27 in 2021 to 16 in 2022.

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