Officer Deaths Reported from 1980 to 2014

Average of 10 Officers Killed Per Year

Law enforcement agencies across the state report this data to the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) as part of the Federal Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR). It includes officers who work in an official capacity, have full arrest powers, carry a badge, carry a firearm, and are paid from governmental funds set aside specifically for payment of sworn law enforcement representatives. Pursuant to UCR guidelines, correctional officers employed at local or state level are not included. The data also does not include suicides, deaths caused by heart attacks or other natural causes, or deaths occurring while the officer is acting in a military capacity. California law enforcement agencies have reported 345 officer deaths between 1980 and 2014. Data on officers killed was provided by CA DOJ for the years 1990-2014, and the FBI for the years 1980-1989.

What was the manner of death?

There were 345 deaths of law enforcement officers in the line of duty from 1980 to 2014. Of these, 187 were unlawful deaths and 158 were accidental deaths. This equates to an average of approximately 10 deaths per year, with 54% coming from unlawful attacks.

How has the total number of deaths changed over time?

The total number of officer deaths stayed relatively consistent, ranging from 5 to 15 deaths in all but two of the past 35 years.*

Total number of deaths of officers from 1980 to 2014

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* The underlying LEOKA data indicate that there were 17 deaths in one specific agency in November 1982. We believe this is a typographical error and the above graph treats that data point as zero.

How has the rate of deaths per 100,000 officers changed over time?

The death rate has slightly decreased over time, but had an uptick in 2014.*

Number of deaths per 100,000 officers from 1980 to 2014

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* The underlying LEOKA data indicate that there were 17 deaths in one specific agency in November 1982. We believe this is a typographical error and the above graph treats that data point as zero.

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