Good news for cops is that felonious killings of police officers fell to the lowest number in 2013 since 1887, according the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Only 33 officers were killed with firearms wielded by criminals in 2013.
A total of 111 cops died “in the line of duty” in 2013, the largest number, 46, from traffic accidents. the remainder are somewhat suspect because “job related” is broadly defined to include heart attacks and other illnesses that anyone can get. The job of police officer is stressful but so are lots of other jobs. Police work is not equally stressful across the board and not all the time for all officers. Much of police work is boredom punctuated with panic for short periods. Even that is more exhilarating than stressful for some. Besides, there is no way to know whether an officer who died of a heart attack would have lived to a ripe old age if she’d chosen to be a librarian.
The good new on felonious killings is the most good news for the cops that weren’t killed, but also for the rest of us as well. It is the most violent criminals who kill police officers, often by ambush, and these are the ones who most upset the peaceful tranquility of any society. The graph below shows police officer deaths from 1963-2013, with the dark blue being firearms, light blue traffic, and gray as other. It’s the “other” that may or may not be job related, in my view.
The numbers shown here include all federal, state and local law enforcement officers with the power of arrest. Thus, others who might be considered to be in some aspect of law enforcement such as building inspectors or parking meter mates and matrons, etc. are not included. Private security are not included whether armed or not armed.