Officers Accidentally Killed

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This page provides information regarding accidental line-of-duty deaths of duly sworn city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers who met the same criteria as officers feloniously killed.

Overview

  • In 2009, 47 law enforcement officers died as the result of accidents that occurred in the line of duty.
  • Law enforcement agencies in 29 states reported that officers from their jurisdictions died in the line of duty as a result of accidents in 2009.
  • Of the 47 officers accidentally killed, 15 were employed by city police departments, 21 were employed by county agencies, 10 were employed by state agencies, and 1 was employed by a federal agency.

More information about these topics (including annual totals from 2000 through 2009) is provided in Tables 48, 49, 59, 60, and 64.

Victim profile

  • The average age of the officers who were accidentally killed in 2009 was 35 years.
  • In 2009, the average length of law enforcement service of the 47 officers accidentally killed in the line of duty was 9 years.
  • Of the 47 officers who were accidentally killed, 44 were white and 3 were black.
  • All 47 officers were male.

More information about these topics is provided in Tables 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, and 58.

Circumstances

  • Thirty-four of the 47 officers who were accidentally killed in the line of duty in 2009 died as a result of automobile accidents. Six officers were struck by vehicles, 3 officers died in motorcycle accidents, and 4 officers died during other types of accidents.
  • Of the 6 officers struck by vehicles, 3 were executing a traffic stop or roadblock, and 3 officers were directing traffic or assisting motorists.
  • Two officers were accidentally shot as a result of crossfire or other firearm mishap.

More information about this topic (including a complete breakdown of the types of circumstances in which officers accidentally died) is provided in Tables 61, 62, 63, and 64.

Regional and outlying area breakdowns

Of the 47 officers accidentally killed in the line of duty in 2009:

  • 21 officers were employed by law enforcement agencies in the South.
  • 12 officers were employed by law enforcement agencies in the West.
  • 8 officers were employed by law enforcement agencies in the Midwest.
  • 6 officers were employed by law enforcement agencies in the Northeast.

More information about this topic (including annual totals from 2000 through 2009) is provided in Table 48.

Months, days, and times of incidents

Months

  • In 2009, agencies reported the most accidental deaths (9) in January.

Days

  • More officers (10) were fatally injured in accidents on Thursday in 2009 than on any other day of the week.

Times

  • Twenty-five officers were fatally injured in accidents that occurred between the hours of 12:01 p.m. and midnight, and 22 officers were killed in accidents between 12:01 a.m. and noon.

More information about these topics (including annual totals from 2000 through 2009) is provided in Tables 50, 51, and 52.

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