Police fatalities up in 2016, traffic and ‘other causes’ surpass gun deaths

cop-shotLaw enforcement fatalities are up this year, with 139 deaths listed so far by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), and while 64 officers have died from gunfire, more have died from other causes.

According to the memorial fund, 53 police died from traffic-related injuries on the job and 22 died from “other causes.” That organization noted that the deadliest day for law enforcement since the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001 was in July, when five officers were ambushed in Dallas by a gunman who was later killed. Three other officers were killed in Baton Rouge ten days later.

According to Craig W. Floyd, NLEOMF president, 20 officers were killed in ambush attacks this year.

It has been a particularly deadly year for police, with overall fatalities up 16 percent over last year.

The numbers don’t include an Oregon State Trooper who was shot Sunday by a man described by Fox News as “an ex-police cadet caught up in a domestic dispute.” The gunman, identified as James Tylka, reported killed his wife and then led police in a car chase before the gun battle. He was killed by police.

Oregon Trooper Nic Cederberg remains in critical condition at this writing. He was reportedly hit several times during the gunfight.

While police fatalities are up, they are eclipsed by the number of homicides in Chicago, where the Chicago Sun Times over the weekend reported that arrests are down 28 percent for the year. So far, with a few days remaining in 2016, the Windy City body count had hit 738, the newspaper reported.

Police fatalities this year are also outnumbered by the 316 homicides in Baltimore, as reported by the Baltimore Sun. And in nearby Washington, D.C., the Washington Post says there have been at least 131 slayings so far this year.

Among police, the largest number of fatalities has been in Texas (18), followed by California (10), Louisiana (9) and Georgia (8). Michigan has lost seven officers, rounding out the top five.

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