301 Out of 458 US Police Officer Line of Duty Deaths in 2021 Were Due to COVID-19, Report Says
According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, as of Dec. 31, 2021, 458 federal, state, tribal and local police officers died in the line-of-duty in 2021. Of the fatalities, 301 were due to COVID-19.
Last year was also the deadliest for cops since 1930, according to the report.
“As of December 31, 2021, 458 federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement officers died in the line-of-duty in 2021. This is an increase of 55% from the 295 officers killed during the same period last year, and is the highest total line-of duty officer deaths since 1930 when there were 312 fatalities,” the report said.
However, of the 458 fatalities, 301 were caused by COVID-19, the report said.
“This number appears to increase almost daily. Covid-19 related fatalities continue to be the single highest cause of law enforcement deaths occurring in 2021,” the report said.
Criminal assaults accounted for 84 deaths last year and traffic incidents were responsible for 58 deaths, according to the report.
The number of officers killed in "ambush-style attacks" also rose to 19 in 2021, which is up from six in 2020, NBC News reported.
Despite Covid, former Connecticut state trooper Troy Anderson told CBS News that the number of officer deaths in the line of duty deserves more attention.
"The numbers, quite frankly, are staggering," he said.
The number of fatalities in 2021 showcased a dramatic jump in 50 years of data, NBC News reported. The 1970s, a dramatic time in America, especially in cities like New York City, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, averaged more than 200 deaths a year during the decade, NBC News reported.
Muscogee County Sheriff Gregory Countryman told CBS News that the virus continues to spread through his department in Georgia and they currently have 18 active cases.
About 40% of the county's residents have been vaccinated, CBS News reported.
"Not only are we fighting with the criminals, we're also fighting with this virus that's out there," he told the news outlet.
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