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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 2019 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 2019, 41 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 23 states. (See Table 48.)
  • By region, 22 officers who were accidentally killed were employed by agencies in the South, 8 by agencies in the Midwest, 8 by agencies in the West, and 3 by agencies in the Northeast. (See Table 48.)
  • Of the officers accidentally killed, 14 were employed by city police departments, 14 were employed by county agencies, 12 were employed by state agencies, and 1 was employed by a federal agency. (See Table 49.)

Victim profile

  • The average age of the officers who were accidentally killed in 2019 was 40 years. (See Table 55.)
  • The average length of law enforcement service for the officers accidentally killed in the line of duty was 11 years. (See Table 56.)
  • Of the 41 officers who were accidentally killed, 39 were White, and 2 were Black/African American. (See Table 60.)
  • 38 of the officers who died in 2019 due to accidental line-of-duty incidents were male; 3 were female. (See Table 60.)

Circumstances (See Table 65.)

Of the officers who were accidentally killed in the line of duty in 2019:

  • 19 died as a result of motor vehicle crashes. Eight officers were responding to emergencies, 5 were patrolling, 1 was responding to a nonemergency circumstance, 1 was escorting a funeral or a dignitary, and 4 officers died in other types of motor vehicle crashes.
  • 16 were pedestrian officers struck by vehicles. Five officers were performing traffic stops, 2 were assisting motorists, and 2 were performing traffic patrol. One officer was assisting or investigating a vehicle crash, 1 was engaged in a foot pursuit, and 1 was overseeing a work zone. Four officers were struck by vehicles in other situations.
  • 3 officers died in firearm-related incidents. One officer was performing an arrest, 1 was patrolling, and 1 was involved in another type of activity.
  • 2 officers drowned. One officer was patrolling, and 1 drowned during a recovery operation.
  • 1 officer was reported to have died in the category titled “an other type of duty-related accident” when he was struck by a tire/wheel while assisting a motorist.

Assignments (See Table 66.)

  • 25 of the on-duty officers accidentally killed in 2019 were alone at the time of the incidents.
  • 16 on-duty officers had assistance at the time of their fatal accidents.

Months, days, and times of incidents

  • More officers died from accidental line-of-duty incidents that occurred in both February (5) and March (5) than in any other month in 2019. (See Table 54.)
  • More officers (10) were fatally injured in accidents on Fridays than on any other day of the week. (See Table 51.)
  • 17 officers were killed as a result of accidents occurring between 12:01 a.m. and noon. (See Table 50.)
  • 24 officers were fatally injured in accidents that occurred between 12:01 p.m. and midnight. (See Table 50.)

Information about officers accidentally killed can be found in Tables 48-70.