Law enforcement officer deaths rose in 2018

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More law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2018 than the year before.

That’s according to newly released statistics from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.

One hundred and forty-five men and women lost their lives in the line of duty.

Five officers died in Indiana, while Texas, Florida, California and New York each had more than 10 deaths.

2018 was a deadly year for those who protect and serve.

“They gave their all and died in the line of duty.”

Craig Floyd is with the national law enforcement memorial fund.

The non-profit’s 2018 report found firearms caused the most deaths and were up 15% compared to 2017.

Floyd says in many of those cases officers were just trying to do their jobs.

“Attempting to make an arrest was the number one cause. Domestic violence calls probably the most dangerous calls officers can go on.”

The names of the officers killed in 2018 will be added to this memorial wall in Washington D.C.

Supporters say it’s a way to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We see the sacrifice of everyone else we see the 21,000 names on the wall.”

Last year, Chief John Plasse’s traveled from Indiana to the memorial wall following the shooting death of Officer Rob Pitts.

Pitts name will be added to the memorial wall in May.

Law enforcement officials say in addition to recognizing fallen officers, agencies are working to improve training and provide better equipment to protect officers. 

Floyd says the public can play a part too by following state “move over” laws that requires drivers to act when officers are responding to a call.

“You must slow down and if you have the opportunity and can do it safely. move over a lane and give that officer an added layer of safety.”

Floyd says traffic related fatalities were the second leading cause of police deaths.

By raising awareness, officials hope to keep officers and communities safe.

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(This story was originally published on January 31, 2019)

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