NLEOMF reports 15% increase in officer fatalities halfway through 2024

By Joanna Putman

WASHINGTON — Preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) reveals that as of June 30, 2024, a total of 71 law enforcement officers at the federal, state, and local levels have died in the line of duty.

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This figure marks a 15% increase from the 62 officers who died during the same timeframe in the previous year, according to the report.

A notable factor in this increase is the significant rise in traffic-related fatalities. In the first half of 2024, 17 officers lost their lives due to traffic crashes, including single-vehicle accidents, vehicle collisions and motorcycle crashes, an 89% increase from the nine traffic-related deaths recorded in the same period last year, according to the report.

The number of total traffic incidents, including crashes and instances of officers being struck outside of a vehicle, increased from 11 during the first half of 2023 to 26 in 2024, a 136% jump. Nine struck-by fatalities occurred during the first half of the year, versus two during the same period last year, according to the report.

From January to June 2024, 28 officers were killed due to felonious assaults, all from gunshot wounds. This is an 8% increase compared to firearm-related deaths in the first half of 2023. The majority of these shootings occurred during traffic enforcement or pursuit situations, according to the report.

Additionally, 17 officers died from various other causes in the first six months of 2024. These causes include aircraft accidents, stabbings and health issues such as heart attacks and strokes experienced while on duty. Twenty-five officers killed in the first six months of 2023 fell into the “other causes” category, making it the only category to see a decrease, according to the report.