The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund will release its annual Law Enforcement Officer Fatality Research Bulletin on Tuesday December 28. The report will show a significant increase in the number of law enforcement officer fatalities from 2009 to 2010. This devastating surge in officer deaths is discouraging following 2009, when fatalities decreased 16 percent; the lowest number of line-of-duty deaths since 1959.
The trend of multiple fatality shootings continued in 2010 with brutal, ambush- style “cluster killings” targeting officers. Nearly 20 percent of this year’s shooting fatalities – 10 to date – occurred in just five incidents in which one or more officers were gunned down by the same offender (Fresno, CA; San Juan, PR; West Memphis, AR; Tampa, FL; Hoonah, AK).
As of December 20, 154 law enforcement officers had died from all causes, a 40 percent increase from 2009 with 110 fatalities on the same date.
This year auto accidents increased 30 percent, motorcycle accidents increased 38 percent, and officers struck by a vehicle increased 16 percent. Shootings increased 18% percent; and the recent trend of multiple-fatality shootings remains cause for grave concern.