Officers Accidentally Killed
The following information concerns law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2018 as a result of accidental incidents. The law enforcement officers included in this report met certain criteria, such as they had full arrest powers and they ordinarily wore/carried a badge and firearm.
- In 2018, 51 law enforcement officers died as the result of accidents that occurred in the line of duty. (See Table 48.)
- Accidental line-of-duty deaths of law enforcement officers occurred in 25 states. One officer was killed in an accident in Puerto Rico. (See Table 48.)
- By region, 27 officers who were accidentally killed were employed by agencies in the South, 11 by agencies in the Midwest, 7 by agencies in the West, and 5 by agencies in the Northeast. One officer was killed in an accident in Puerto Rico. (See Table 48.)
- Of the officers accidentally killed, 31 were employed by city police departments, including 10 who were members of law enforcement agencies in cities with 250,000 or more inhabitants. (See Table 49.)
- The average age of the officers who were accidentally killed in 2018 was 36 years. (See Table 55.)
- The average length of law enforcement service for the officers accidentally killed in the line of duty was 10 years. (See Table 56.)
- Of the 51 officers who were accidentally killed, 39 were White, 8 were Black/African American, 3 were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 1 was Asian. (See Table 60.)
- 47 of the officers who died in 2018 due to accidental line-of-duty incidents were male; 4 were female. (See Table 60.)
Circumstances (See Table 65.)
Of the officers who were accidentally killed in the line of duty in 2018:
- 34 died as a result of motor vehicle crashes. Nine officers were responding to emergencies, 8 were patrolling, 4 were engaging in vehicle pursuits, 3 were responding to nonemergency circumstances, 2 were performing traffic stops, 2 were escorting funerals or dignitaries, 1 was training, 1 was performing traffic control, and 4 officers died in other types of motor vehicle crashes.
- 9 were pedestrian officers struck by vehicles. Two officers were assisting or investigating vehicle crashes, 2 were assisting motorists, and 2 were performing traffic stops. Three officers were struck by vehicles in other situations.
- 3 officers drowned. One officer was patrolling, and 2 drowned in other situations.
- 2 officers died in firearm-related accidents. One officer was engaging in a tactical situation, and 1 was patrolling.
- 1 officer fell while engaging in a foot pursuit.
- 2 officers died in another type of duty-related accident when they were struck by a commuter train.
Assignments (See Table 66.)
- 30 of the on-duty officers accidentally killed in 2018 were alone at the time of the incidents.
- 20 on-duty officers had assistance at the time of their fatal accidents.
- 1 officer was off duty but acting in an official capacity at the time of the fatal accident.
Months, days, and times of incidents
- More officers (7) died from accidental line-of-duty incidents that occurred in December than in any other month in 2018. (See Table 54.)
- More officers (10) were fatally injured in accidents on Fridays than on any other day of the week. (See Table 51.)
- 22 officers were killed as a result of accidents occurring between 12:01 a.m. and noon. (See Table 50.)
- 25 officers were fatally injured in accidents that occurred between 12:01 p.m. and midnight. (See Table 50.)
- The time of incident was not reported for 4 officers who were accidentally killed in 2018. (See Table 50.)
Information about officers accidentally killed can be found in Tables 48-70.
Figures and Maps