September 3, 2015

Police Officers Killed In the Line Of Duty

I often go to this site, the Officer Down Memorial Page, and read about my fallen brothers. Last night was different, I downloaded ten years of Police Line Of Duty (LOD) deaths. I did this not from some macabre urge but from statistical curiosity - I have done law enforcement analysis for decades and wanted to see if this year's recent spike was part of a larger trend.

After compiling the LOD deaths for the period 2005 through 2014, I compared the total deaths per state with each state's estimated 2012 population and arrived at the following rankings of LOD deaths per 100,000 population for each state. Even though the number of deaths for these jurisdictions are listed, I did not include LOD figures for Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Railroad Police, Tribal Police, US Government or the Virgin Islands.

For the fifty states and the District of Columbia, there were 1,414 Police LOD deaths within a total population of 313,940,610 citizens, resulting in a national average of 0.45 Police LOD deaths per 100,000. These deaths of course are not all murders and not all LOD murders are committed with a firearm. LOD deaths include accidents, drownings, plane crashes, you name it.

The following states are the most deadly for police officers:
If Puerto Rico was a state it would rank as the third most dangerous with a LOD ratio of 0.91.

Funny thing - the state with the toughest gun control laws in the country had the most LOD deaths and is one of the 10 deadliest states for police officers. That's right New York, we're talking about you.

These states have the lowest LOD ratios: 

Another funny thing - the safest state for cops in the country, Vermont, is a shall issue state; no pistol license required. Vermont pistol laws:
Concealed Permit:
It is lawful to carry a firearm openly or concealed provided the firearm is not carried with the intent or avowed purpose of injuring a fellow
man. There is no permit required to carry concealed.

1. Be of age. In the state of Vermont, that age is 16 or older. You must be at least 16 years of age to legally purchase a gun and keep it loaded on your person in public.
2. Obtain permission from a parent or guardian to carry a gun if you’re under the age of 16. Failure to do so may result in being deemed a delinquent child by the state.
3. Have a clean record if purchasing a firearm. Things like felony convictions and dishonorable military discharge will show up during the federal instant check, and prohibit purchase.
For those interested, the following chart covers all states in alphabetical order with their ranking. The lowest numbers still indicate the highest level of Police LOD deaths.

So far this year, 83 officers have died LOD and 24 of them were by gunfire

The highest number of Police LOD deaths was in 1974; 280 officers were killed that year, half (140) were indeed killed by gunfire. . I joined my department that year. NYS did not start issuing body armor for cops until 1980. You best believe I bought my own Second Chance ballistic vest as soon as I got out of the academy.


LL said...

It's not progressive to whip out those statistics.

Shall Issue/Open Carry states are all safer than urban hells with tough gun control laws.

sig94 said...

LL - please forgive me. I try like hell to be progressive and something always happens....