Police Deaths Skyrocketed the Last 2 Years Because of COVID, Not Crime

Last week, The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released a Report widely quotedThe 2021 year in which the death toll was highest for American police officers, since 1930, was 2021. The data, however is much more complex than the above comparison. 

According to NLEOMF’s report, in 2021, 458 federal, local, tribal, and state officers were killed in the line-of-duty. This makes 2021 the most deadly year since 1930 when 312 officers were killed on the job. The 2021 police officer death rate was 55% higher than the 2020 295 which, itself, was significantly higher. 2019’s 89 Line-of Duty Deaths

What is considered dying in the line-of-duty? It is the FBI categorizes most oftenLine-of-duty death can be classified as felonious, accidental or both. Crimes against officers such as shooting or stabbing an officer can result in a felonious death. In most cases, accidental deaths result from car accidents and stop-and-go collisions. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund decided to include COVID-19 death because it was “reported to NLEOMF that these officials died from direct exposure during their official duties.”

The numbers become much simpler when you take out COVID-19. Number of officers who were killed in felonious or accidental acts 2020They were respectively 48 and 41 In 202156 officers suffered accidental deaths while 76 were felonious, and 56 died from a result of a rise in violent crime rates. The felonious death rates rose although they are not unusual. 2011 saw 72 officers killed by felonies. 

Instead of a spike in felonious killings, 2020 and 2021 lineof-duty deaths numbers have been inflated by COVID-19. In 2021, there were 301 and 182 fatalities, respectively. Coronavirus caused 66% of the line-of-duty death in 2021.  

While line-of duty deaths can provide information about fatal threats to police officers, they have also been used historically by American media and law enforcement organizations. Encourage the use of this ideaThe work of police officers can be potentially fatal. They are entitled to legal protections. Police critics claim that they do not allow for accountability or protect criminals.  

The National Fraternal Order of Police was established on January 5, 2005 tweetedLaw enforcement was being attacked “physically and professionally” as well as rhetorically. However, 2021 is deemed extremely dangerous by police officers. Patrick Yoes (National President of Fraternal Order of Police) released this statement. statementThe report stated that law enforcement was at its most risk in the past year due to increased violence against law enforcement officers and the continuing pandemic of crime fueled by rogue prosecutor.

Although there has been an upsurge in the number of deaths due to COVID-19 it is still relatively safe for law enforcement to do so compared with other mundane jobs. Information compiled and maintained by Bureau of Labor StatisticsAccording to the BLS, law enforcement has a lower fatal occupational injury rate than trucking, logging, roofing, or a variety of other industries. 

Whether American police face a greater-than-average threat of contracting COVID-19, the policy response to that problem is widely available and essentially free to the people who need it–officers can get the vaccine, which greatly reduces the likelihood of serious disease and death resulting from COVID-19. But, using the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s line-of duty death data to militarize or exonerate police is a way to misuse the numbers.