WASHINGTON (AP) — 144 Officers pay the ultimate price so far in 2018.
More police officers have died in the line of duty this year in the United States than in 2017, according to data released Thursday. The most common cause of death was gunfire, and vehicular accidents claimed nearly as many officers’ lives.

DES PLAINES, IL – NOVEMBER 26: The remains of Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez arrive at Ridgewood Memorial Park on November 26, 2018 in Des Plaines, Illinois. Jimenez was shot and killed on November 19, while responding to a shooting at Mercy Hospital where a gunman had opened fire killing two hospital workers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said in a report that 144 federal, state and local officers have died so far in 2018. That figure represents roughly a 12 percent increase from the 129 who died in 2017.

Officers stand at attention as a casket passes carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus following the memorial service at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village November 15, 2018. – Sgt. Helus was one of twelve victims of the Borderline Bar & Grill mass shooting in Thousand Oaks last week. (Photo by Al Seib / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read AL SEIB/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The majority of the officers who died were either shot — 52 this year, up from 46 in 2017 — or fatally injured in car or motorcycle crashes, which accounted for 50 deaths. Other fatalities involved heart attacks, strokes, drownings and cancer, and other illnesses among those who responded to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack.

PALM SPRINGS, CA – OCTOBER 18: Bagpipers pass a Palm Springs police officer standing guard near the casket carrying the body of officer Jose Gilbert Vega at funeral services for fallen Palm Springs Police officers Jose Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny at the Palm Springs Convention Center on October 18, 2016 in Palm Springs, California. The officers were fatally shot and a third wounded by a single gunman during a neighborhood disturbance on October 8. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

 

Of the officers who were shot, eight were killed during investigative activity and six were killed while responding to calls of a domestic or public disturbance, according to the report. Two were fatally shot while serving warrants, two died while handling or transporting prisoners and two others were inadvertently shot by other officers.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 11: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (L) and Craig Floyd (R), Chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, place their hands over their heart during a moment of silence at the National Law Enforcement Memorial on the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks September 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. 72 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty on September 11, 2001, more than on any other day in American history.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Craig Floyd, the fund’s chief executive officer, called the increase in deaths disappointing after a decline in 2017.
“Sadly this reminds us that public safety is a dangerous job and can come at a very steep price,” Floyd said in a statement accompanying the report. “We must never take the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers for granted, and we must remember the families of the fallen who are left behind.”

CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 13: Chicago police officers salute as an ambulance carrying the remains of Cmdr. Paul Bauer leaves Northwestern Memorial Hospital on February 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Bauer, who was downtown leaving a training session, was shot while trying to help stop a man being pursued by tactical officers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Of the officers who died in traffic-related incidents, 32 were killed in crashes involving another vehicle and 14 were struck while outside their vehicle. An additional four were killed in motorcycle crashes.
The officers who died in 2018 include a sheriff’s deputy in Sacramento County, California, killed in a shootout at an auto parts store; a Greensboro, North Carolina, police officer killed in a car crash while responding to a call for a robbery; and a Greene County, Missouri, sheriff’s deputy who drowned when his car was swept away by rising water.

CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 17: People view the body of slain Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer at Nativity of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church on February 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Bauer was shot to death earlier in the week while confronting a suspect. (Photo by John J. Kim – Pool/Getty Images)

The states that experienced the highest number of officer fatalities were Texas, California, Florida and New York, with 11 fatalities each.
© 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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