NPR logo Report: Number Of Police Officers Killed Spikes In 2014

America

Report: Number Of Police Officers Killed Spikes In 2014

A rose is placed at the wall with the names of fallen police officers at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington during the National Police Week in 2013. Jose Luis Magana/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jose Luis Magana/AP

A rose is placed at the wall with the names of fallen police officers at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington during the National Police Week in 2013.

Jose Luis Magana/AP

The number of police officers killed in the line of duty increased in 2014, a report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund finds.

In total, 126 officers were killed in 2014. That's a 24 percent increase from 2013, when 102 officers were killed. According to the report, the number of police officers killed by firearms also rose by 56 percent — from 32 in 2013 to 50 in 2014.

Here's a graphic that puts those numbers in historical context:

A graph showing officer deaths per year. NLEOMF hide caption

toggle caption
NLEOMF

In a press release, the fund adds:

"Ambush-style attacks, as evidenced earlier this month by the shooting deaths of New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos while sitting in their marked patrol car, were the number one cause of felonious officer deaths for the fifth year in a row. Fifteen officers nationwide were killed in ambush assaults in 2014, matching 2012 for the highest total since 1995."

One important asterisk to this news: While gun deaths of officers have increased, they still remain 12-percent lower than the decade-long average of 57.

"Firearms-related fatalities peaked in 1973, when 156 officers were shot and killed. Since then, the average number of officers shot and killed has decreased
from 127 per year in the 1970s to 57 per year in the 2000s," the report notes.