When a law enforcement officer dies in the United States, it’s bound to make the news. But what is actually responsible for these fatalities?
Surprisingly, gunfire is responsible for less than 1 in 3 police officer deaths. With so many tragic stories about law enforcement officers being shot, I thought the number would be much higher.
Car accidents and heart attacks are the next leading causes of death. Not every on-duty police death is a result of homicide, either: train accidents, accidental gunfire and drowning are also on the list of leading causes.
Also a danger to law enforcement: Vehicular assault, heat exhaustion, stabbings and bombs. Illnesses related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks cause 5.8% of police deaths, and accidental gunfire causes 2% of police deaths.
Some of the more unusual causes of death include explosions, toxin exposure and being poisoned. It’s certain that everyone isn’t cut out for a job with these risks. The study also includes K-9 officers killed while working.
Looking to learn more about law enforcement? Check out our infographic about how social media can often play a crucial role in investigations.