A total of 458 officers died in the line of duty in the country last year, making it the deadliest year in more than 90 years and a 55 percent increase from 2020, according to preliminary data compiled by the organization.
Felony assaults were responsible for the deaths of 84 officers last year, including 62 officers killed with firearms, the report said.
58 were killed in traffic-related incidents while working the roadways. Both the number of deaths from firearm assaults and traffic-related fatalities had risen from the previous year. The remaining deaths were attributed to reasons such as heart attacks, strokes and 9/11-related illnesses, the report said. Other officers were killed in beatings, drownings and stabbings. One officer was killed by floodwaters, and another was killed in a tornado.
The country´s police officer death toll is a 55% increase from 2020, when 295 law enforcement officers died. It is also the highest death toll reported in a year since 1930, as 312 officers were killed.
2021 is the second year in a row in which Covid-19 is the leading cause of death among police officers in the line of duty.
Law enforcement officials across the country are overly exposed to coronavirus in the course of their daily duties; therefore, the number of deaths in the line of duty is unfortunately increasing, it concluded.