On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 61 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 20,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.
That is a startling and disturbing number of losses. Can you imagine a world where we did not have any law enforcement? No one to call at 2 am when you hear a strange noise in the garage? No 911 when the neighbors are fighting? No one to turn to when your car disappears from the mall?
Being a member of the law enforcement community must be incredibly hard. You are called to peoples homes during times of great stress and discord. Every traffic stop has the potential to end poorly. It only takes a few “bad apples” for you to be judged as a community. It is sad that in this day and age, peace officers are feared instead of revered. It takes a special breed of people to put their lives at risk to serve others.
We are proud to add two new flags to our website; The Thin Blue Line and the Texas Thin Blue Line. These flags show our support and love for our law enforcement community. Flying these flags is an easy way to show your support for a community that does so much, for so many, with so little gratitude.
Law Enforcement Facts
Key Data about the Profession
- There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female.
- According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2014, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the 2013 estimate.
- Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 20,789 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
- A total of 1,439 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 61 hours or 144 per year. There were 123 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2015.
- There have been 15,725 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2014, resulting in 13,824 injuries.
- The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.
- New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 705 deaths. Texas has lost 1,682 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 23.
- There are 1,102 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 668 correctional officers and 36 military law enforcement officers.
- There are 292 female officers listed on the Memorial; eleven female officers were killed in 2015.
Peace Officers put their lives on the line everyday. It is often a thankless job with long hours and inadequate pay. We are grateful that they are here to protect and serve because we can not imagine a world without them in it.
Have you thanked a Police officer lately?