Record number of law enforcement officers died in line of duty in 2021

A record number of law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2021, the most ever recorded, according to new data.

In 2021, 458 law enforcement officers died - up 55% compared to 2020, according to data released by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

In 2020, 295 federal, state, local and tribal officers died in the line of duty.

The closest number recorded was in 1930, when there was 312.

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The vast majority of deaths, 301, were due to COVID-19 according to the agency.

"Law enforcement officers nationwide continue to be exposed to the COVID-19 in the course of their daily assignments; therefore, the number of line-of-duty deaths is sadly ever-increasing," the report said.

There was both an increase in officers killed by firearms (62 vs. 45 in 2020) and 58 died from traffic related incidents, an increase of 38% from 2020.

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Handguns were the leading cause of death in the firearm category - with eight in the month of October, making it the deadliest in 2021.


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