Killed in the Line of Duty
Police officers sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the public and upholding the principles of law and order. According to the Indiana Police Memorial, since the first recorded police officer death in 1794, there have been over 14,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the United States. Since 1900, Illinois ranks 4th on the list of deadliest states for law enforcement with 797 officers killed, behind California which was unfortunately first with 1176. For reference, there were 314,000 officers serving in 1970 and 740,000 serving in 1999.
According to the FBI, which maintains law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty statistics, the preliminary UCR report stated 57 officers were feloniously killed in 2007. In 2006, 48 officers were feloniously killed, with 46 of 48 killed with firearms.
From 1987 to 1996, nearly 700 officers were killed in the line of duty, another 697 killed in duty related accidents and another 600,000 assaulted while performing their duties.
Another 10 year study by the FBI found from 1994 to 2003, 616 officers were killed in the line of duty.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, law enforcement officers killed since 1973 has been on the decline. In 1973, 134 officers were killed, the highest number in a single year since that time. In 1983 the figure dropped to 80 and again in 1993 it dropped to 70 officers killed. As of 2003, the number of officers killed was down to 52, which is still a sad reminder of the dangers of the law enforcement profession.
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