Officer line-of-duty deaths dropped in 2022, but deadly ambushes rose

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 9:44 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Line-of-duty deaths for police officers fell last year.

But the officers who lost their lives were more likely to be ambushed on the job.

We have a look at the FBI’s latest findings.

Five law enforcement officers in Ohio lost their lives in the line-of-duty last year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks officer deaths.

Across the country, 60 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2022, according to new, preliminary data from the FBI.

That’s down nearly 18 percent from 2021, from 73 officers killed in the same time period.

But the number of officers deaths in 2022 was still high compared to 2019, when 48 were feloniously killed and 2020, when 46 officers were killed during a crime.

19 Investigates learned guns were used by the suspect in nearly 82 percent of those officers’ deaths.

And we found another troubling statistic.

The FBI recorded 12 ambush attacks in 2022 that led to officers’ deaths.

That’s a 50 percent increase in ambushes from 2021, when there were eight.

We found the most line-of-duty deaths of officers were in the south last year, followed by the west and then midwest.

And most accidental deaths were from motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian officers struck by vehicles and plane crashes.

The data also shows 81 officers died in the line of duty last year from medical conditions.

About 50 officers died from illnesses related to Covid-19 and 12 died in the line of duty from heart attacks..

You can see a detailed breakdown of the information from the FBI here.