Risk Mitigation Can Lead to Fewer Officer Fatalities

istorically, law enforcement has been plagued by violence against its officers, reflected in the number of line-of-duty deaths. They lost their lives doing what they loved in an escalating war on law enforcement.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), more than 450 officers were killed in the line of duty from 2010 to 2012.1 Furthermore, the use of firearms constituted the cause of those deaths approximately 40 percent of the time.2 In fact, that statistic is consistent in the NLEOMF data.

Many of the firearms-related fatalities resulted from ambush attacks; many others occurred during traffic stops and pursuits. Some occurred during warrant service and fugitive apprehension—critical law enforcement functions that are inherently dangerous. Law enforcement officers frequently come into contact with violent felons who feel they have nothing to lose and do not think twice before attacking a police officer. Despite the risks, federal, state, and local agents and officers arrest tens of thousands of violent felons each month without incident.