A staggering 264 police officers died in the line of duty in 2020, a 96 percent increase compared with the previous year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, reports WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. The list of federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officers dead in the line of duty compared to 135 officers who died in the line of duty in 2019. The Memorial Fund’s report also records the deaths of officers in the category of “other” causes, which includes COVID-19 deaths, which is up 300 percent compared to other causes last year.
Some 246 of the fallen officers were men and 18 were women, with an average age of 47 and at least 17 years of service on average. Each fallen officer left behind two children. The memorial fund says gun-related deaths claimed the lives of 48 officers last year, a six percent decline compared to 51 in 2019. Of the 48 officer gun-related deaths, 11 fatalities involved an officer investigating a suspicious person or activity, seven officers were killed responding to domestic disturbance calls, six deaths each involved officers attempting an arrest and an ambush on the officers, three deaths were tactical situations, and three others died in response to domestic disturbance calls. Traffic-related fatalities rose two percent to 44 officer deaths last year.