BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) released its annual fatality report for 2022 Wednesday and showed California is third in the nation for officer fatalities.
The data used in this study was pulled from federal, state, county, municipal, tribal, military and campus officers deaths.
California and Georgia both have 11.
While some of these statistics are trending downward, others are not. NLEOMF data is the lead authority on line-of-duty deaths.
According to the NLEOMF in 2022, 226 officers were killed in the line of duty whereas in 2021 there were 586 officers died in the line of duty.
“This is a really hard day for all of us here. As you all are seeing the statistics, we are reading the stories. Story after story after story […] line-of-duty deaths are trending downward nationally, but firearm fatalities remain high,” Marcia Ferranto, CEO of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, said. “Yes it is true firearm deaths remain high, if you look at last year and decade over decade—we are trending at a 21% increase.”
According to the NLEOMF, the number one cause of firearm-related deaths was from being ambushed, with 11 fatalities and the last was handling prisoners, with one death.
“The number two cause of firearm fatalities is domestic disputes, that remains still right on top. That law enforcement officers are losing their lives, going to domestic disputes, finding situations that are deadly,” Ferranto said.
2021 was the deadliest year on record, with 586 line-of-duty deaths. Traffic collision deaths also remain high, but have decreased by 3% from the year prior.
“I will say with most of these fatalities, we have to look at the importance of funding our officer safety and wellness programs. From the federal level to state to local, to the corporations who are standing behind some of our organizations, that is what is bringing our numbers down,” Ferranto said. “Because the more we can train and equip our law enforcement with best practices and the best equipment, we will be saving lives.”
Currently, there are over 23,000 names of officers names killed in the line of duty, this dates back to the year 1786. There will be 410 names added to the sacred wall this upcoming spring.
“Because when you think of these numbers and realize 204 of these fatalities were men. 22 were women. The average age of these law enforcement officers, is 44 and the average number of children they left behind–two,” Ferranto said.
“That brings it home and that humanizes it. We all need to be out supporting these men and women who are putting their lives on the line every day.”