WASHINGTON (ABC4 News) – More law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2018 than the year before. That’s according to newly-released statistics from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.
One hundred and forty-five men and women lost their lives in the line of duty. Texas, Florida, California, and New York each had more than 10 deaths, followed by North Carolina with seven and South Carolina, Georgia, and Indiana with five each.
Craig Floyd, who is with the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund says the report found firearms caused the most deaths and were up 15 percent compared to 2018. Floyd says in many of those cases, officers were just trying to do their jobs.
“They gave their all and died in the line of duty,” Floyd said. “Attempting to make an arrest was the number one cause. Domestic violence calls probably the most dangerous calls officers can go on.”
The names of the officers killed in 2018 will be added to this memorial wall in the nation’s capital. Supporters say it’s a way to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Last year, Chief John Plasse from Indiana traveled to the memorial wall following the shooting death of officer Rob Pitts.
“We see the sacrifice of everyone else we see the 21,000 names on the wall,” Chief Plasse said.
Law enforcement officials say in addition to recognizing fallen officers, agencies are working to improve training and provide better equipment to protect officers.
Officials say traffic-related fatalities were the second leading cause of police deaths. They add by raising awareness, officials hope to keep officers and communities safe.