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Officers Accidentally Killed

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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.

Overview

  • 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.)

Victim profile

  • 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.