2021 Mid-Year Preliminary Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report

2021 on trend to be one of deadliest years for law enforcement in history

Washington, DC, (July 14, 2021)—— The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has released its Mid-Year Report of law enforcement officer fatalities. As the nationwide authority of line-of-duty deaths, NLEOMF releases reports each year that include officer fatality numbers and other statistics relevant to law enforcement.

This year’s Mid-Year Report indicates a significant increase in officer deaths and could potentially be the deadliest year for law enforcement on record, if trends continue.

So far in 2021, there have been 155 line-of-duty officer deaths. COVID-19 continues to be the number-one cause of death, reaching 71 officers so far this year. The report also notes that traffic fatalities are up 58%, with the leading cause being officers struck by vehicles, currently numbering 19 fatalities. This equals the entire number of struck-by fatalities in 2020.

Texas has the highest number of officer deaths at 25, followed by 15 federal agency deaths. Other states near the top of the list include Georgia (13 deaths), California (13 deaths), and Florida (10 deaths). Out of 155 line-of-duty death cases in 2021, 33 officers were feloniously killed. This includes 28 gunfire cases, three beatings, and two stabbings.

“These numbers are a tragic reminder of the dangers our law enforcement officers are exposed to each and every day,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of NLEOMF. “The last two years have been incredibly difficult and dangerous for law enforcement. We will continue our work to honor the fallen and ensure that their sacrifice is never forgotten. We support those law enforcement officers who continue to work to keep our communities safe. They are our true heroes.”

To view the full report, or more information of law enforcement officers line-of-duty deaths, visit: https://nleomf.org/facts-figures/fatalities-reports.

About the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement, and making it safer for those who serve. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (LawMemorial.org) contains the names of 22,611 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The National Law Enforcement Museum (LawEnforcementMuseum.org) expands and enriches the relationship between law enforcement and the community by sharing true stories of service and sacrifice from across the nation. Through immersive, educational exhibitions and insightful programs, we preserve the history of law enforcement for generations to come.

Daniel Forde
(601) 664-2010

To view the full Fatality Report and addendum, visit https://nleomf.org/facts-figures/fatalities-reports.

Culver-Stockton Hosts Fundraiser for Fallen Officers

Charity Bell | Multimedia Journalist at WGEM​​

Culver-Stockton College students and community members gathered Sunday for their 12-hour Fallen Officer Project fundraiser.

Participants walked around the school’s track from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to honor law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty as well as to raise money for various foundations.

Fallen Officer Project director and Culver-Stockton professor Seth McBride said he personally understands the risks associated with law enforcement and said it’s important those lost in the line of duty are recognized.

“I’m a commissioned officer with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department on top of what I do here at Culver and it is something to recognize the men and women throughout the country who have given their lives to their communities,” McBride said.

Culver-Stockton junior Jordan Arbas also took part in this year’s project.

“You know there’s a lot of negativity around officers in the world today and so I wanted to learn a different perspective,” he said. “Taking a class from a reserve officer and also learning about the family stories, it’s just a whole new perspective that you’re looking at.”

Some participants said they know how it feels to lose a loved one doing their job.

Betsey Browning said she and her grandchildren walked for her son Casey Shoemate, a sheriff’s deputy in Miller County, Missouri, who died in 2018 in a head-on collision while responding to a structure fire.

“It’s really, really important to me that we don’t forget the sacrifices that not only my baby made, but that the other families made as well,” she said.

McBride said they raised a total of $5,425 for two law enforcement benefit foundations. Supporting Heroes helps support families of fallen officers while Who’s House Our House works to bridges the gap between communities and law enforcement through sports.

Browning said the effort made by the CSC community means the world to families going through pain she knows too well.

“Without these organizations that these young people are supporting, we as family members would not survive,” she said.

McBride says although they exceeded their original goal of raising $5,000 you can still donate to the Fallen Officer Project.

Click here to watch the news report.

Never Walk Alone

“O​fficer needs help!”

There are no phrases emanating from a police radio that evoke a more visceral response than that one. Regardless of the size of the department, the demographics of the community served or the type of jurisdiction, that phrase means an officer is fighting for their life! It may be an ambush, gun battle, foot chase or hand-to-hand combat, but to any officer who hears that call, the physiological response is the same: hearts race, minds plot the quickest route to the call, palms sweat, pupils dilate and even the least religious utter a word of prayer. But what happens when officers need a different type of help?

In 2019, the national media became acutely aware of police officer suicides and ran story after story, special after special. As quickly as their interest peaked, it waned. But the officers with problems, the officers who needed someone to talk with because of personal and/or professional issues, became unimportant to the media.

I’m a huge proponent of peer support programs; my first department launched peer support in the ’90s, modeling off the successful Secret Service and BATF peer-to-peer programs. At its zenith, the peer support program in that agency had over 200 peer members for a department of 13,000 officers. Times change and that agency now has fewer than 200 peers.

Smaller agencies can benefit from peer-to-peer programs. My current agency is a 100-person department serving a community of about 60,000 people in a major metropolitan area. When I first was appointed chief in 2012, I was approached by our police counselor, Victoria Poklop, who asked my feelings about peer programs. After some discussion, we decided to restart the long-dormant peer support program at our P.D. We began by having the officers on each shift nominate who they would feel comfortable sharing their problems with. Once we had nine members (six police officers and three sergeants) named by majority, we approached those officers and asked if they would be willing to become peer support team members. We relaunched our peer support team in early 2013.

A few departments near us began expressing interest in establishing peer teams as well, and while we assisted them, we also heard concerns from some of the smaller agencies; the concerns centered on the “beauty shop” mentality. The concern, real or imagined, is that an officer will share something with a peer supporter, who will then tell someone else, and that person will tell another, ad infinitum, until the chief finds out and takes disciplinary action. This concern led us to think of creative ways to form a peer support task force.

Task forces in law enforcement are nothing new; there were task forces formed to take down Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and even Al Capone. This would be different. We looked at how we could utilize our existing Major Case Assistance Team callout framework and apply it to the peer supporters. Any way we looked at it, it was going to be a daunting challenge to ensure the right people were on the call-out list every day. Enter VJ.

Victoria met the owner of Velan Technologies, a young brilliant web developer named VJ Harikrishna, through a mutual friend. Victoria started explaining what we were trying to do, and he offered to help. Through his selfless dedication and IT wizardry, VJ met with us and demonstrated which platform could best be utilized for this web-based peer support program.

What had started as an attempt to provide a method to make peers available to officers 24-7/365 had grown into a much larger venture. WeNeverWalkAlone.org was launched on May 13, 2019, from our P.D.’s Emergency Operations Center.

The simple idea now offers:

  • An interactive listing of peer support officers, both active and retired, from a variety of local, county, state and federal agencies, available to active and retired officers and their families
  • Over 50 vetted mental health professionals who are dedicated to giving scheduling priority to LEOs and their families
  • A list of external resources from financial counsel​​ors to white papers
  • A list of peer support coordinators

Departments can join WNWA for the low cost of $2 per officer per month; WNWA is in the process of applying for grant funding in order to make the system free to any agency that wants it.​

A​nyone interested in more information on WeNeverWalkAlone.org ​can email wkushner@sbcglobal.net.​

​By ​William Kushner ​| American Police Beat

About the Author
William Kushner ​is the chief of police in the city of Des Plaines.

The Many Challenges for Law Enforcement in 2020

This has been a tough year for law enforcement. The actions of a small handful of officers in some unfortunate and disheartening incidents received nationwide media attention that quickly led to mass protests and demonstrations against law enforcement. This civil unrest and the inaccurate narrative that paints all officers as bad has had an adverse impact on the hundreds of thousands of officers who do their job honorably and with integrity each day.

The Major Cities Chiefs Association, which is comprised of law enforcement leaders from 69 of the largest police agencies in the United States, detailed the impact of the unrest that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. The association found that more 2,000 law enforcement officers were injured within the first weeks of the protests and unrest. Between May 25 and July 31 there were 8,700 protests nationwide with 574 declared as riots with violence and various criminal acts.

Just as it is unwarranted to label all protesters as engaging in criminal activity, it is equally unwarranted to label all police officers as responsible for the injustices that we have all witnessed by a few police officers.

Now that the riots have subsided, the movement to defund police departments continues to have a demoralizing impact on the hundreds of thousands of officers who daily put their life on the line for the citizens that they serve. In addition, the Defund the Police movement undermines the opportunity to engage in real police reform to prevent rare occurrences of police misconduct. Reform can be accomplished through increased training, accountability standards, and field supervisory reforms. The Defund the Police movement, on the other hand, would only diminish law enforcement’s capability to address crime in the community and would likely make communities more unsafe.

Another nightmare for law enforcement this year has been the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike many professions, telecommuting is not possible in law enforcement. According to the Council on Criminal Justice, homicides in 20 major cities in the United States increased by 37% from May to June, led by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. Aggravated assaults increased by 35% during the same time. This, coupled with the riots and protests this summer, has led to lots of interactions between the police and the communities they serve.

This may explain why “more police officers have died from COVID-19 this year than have been killed on patrol,” according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP), a nonprofit organization that tracks law enforcement fatalities in the line of duty.

At least 101 officers have died from COVId-19, while at least 82 have died by other means, as of September, according to ODMP.

This year has no doubt had an impact on police morale. A study involving anonymous surveys provided to one agency in the Midwest found that around 80% of officers have considered leaving their police agency this year and 40% felt that morale was as low as it has ever been.

Most Americans never have any significant interaction with law enforcement. Therefore, it is especially important now that law enforcement officers throughout the United States be true representatives of the dedication and professionalism that is displayed day in and day out. Such displays will overshadow the false media narrative and the negative, unfounded impressions of law enforcement expressed by the misguided Defund the Police movement.

​By ​Dr. Jarrod Sadulski ​| American Military University Edge

About the Author
Dr. Jarrod Sadulski ​is an associate professor in the School of Security and Global Studies at APU. Jarrod was selected as the Coast Guard’s Reserve McShan Inspirational Leadership Award recipient for 2019. His expertise includes infrastructure security, maritime security, homeland security contraband interdiction and intelligence gathering.
Unsplash Photo by Kayle Kaupanger

Fallen Missouri Sheriff’s Family Has Home Paid Off

The widow of a Missouri sheriff killed in the line of duty will no longer have a mortgage to pay.

DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark was killed in an on-duty crash that happened in June of 2020.

Clark was responding to assist a deputy when his car collided with another vehicle near the intersection of Missouri Highway 33 and U.S. Highway 36 just north of Osborn.

The man who Governor Mike Parson once said served the citizens of Dekalb County with, ”heart and with grit” died at a hospital in St. Joseph later that same day.

This holiday surprise is thanks to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation through its Fallen First Responder Home Program. The mortgage payoff is part of the Foundation’s 2020 Season of Hope.

Sheriff Clark left behind his wife, Jody, and four children.

Jody told Tunnel to Towers, “Andy and I planned to raise our children here, enjoy our grandchildren and spend our golden years right here in this home that he built for us with his own two hands. Now with the help of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, I don’t have to sell it or worry about anyone taking it away from us. I can continue t​​o raise our children here in the only home they’ve ever known. Words can’t express how grateful and thankful I am for this wonderful foundation.”  

Clark was a 22-year veteran of law enforcement and started his career with the Cameron Police Department.

By Micah J. Bray | KCTV 5

Law Enforcement Officers Shot In Line Of Duty Hits All-Time High

A record number of law enforcement officers have been shot in the line of duty this year, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).

A total of 283 officers have been wounded in the line of duty in 2020 thus far, with one m​​onth of the year still remaining, the FOP said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

Forty-four of those officers died as a result of their wounds.

The number of officers shot jumped up seven percent from last year’s all-time high, and increased by 29 percent from the number of officers who were wounded in 2018, the FOP said.

“Attacks on law enforcement officers continue at a disturbing pace,” the FOP’s post read. “Violence against our officers MUST be condemned by all….Enough Is Enough.”

A total of 265 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty since Jan. 1, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

In addition to the number of officers shot in the line of duty, thousands more were injured during the nationwide riots that erupted over the summer, FOX News reported.

Over 8,700 protests were held throughout the U.S. between May 25 and July 31 alone, according to a report compiled by the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA).

The MCCA represents 78 of the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

Approximately 72 percent of MCCA law enforcement agencies reported having officers injured while responding to those gatherings.

A total of 574 demonstrations became violent enough to be declared riots during that time frame, FOX News reported.

The largest gathering took place in Houston, TX, where 60,000 protesters gathered for a single demonstration.

Although the MCCA’s analysis only included riots and protests that took place between May 25 and July 31, the nightly violence continued for months in many areas, to include Portland, Oregon.

Over 62 percent of the uprisings in Portland ended up turning violent, according to the MCCA.

Law enforcement officers throughout the country were attacked with Molotov cocktails, bricks, rocks, water bottles, commercial-grade fireworks, and various other projectiles.

At least 97 patrol vehicles were destroyed by arsonists.

“One agency reported dumpsters, trash cans, trees, furniture and vehicles being set on fire,” according to the report. “In many cities, city hall, as well as other iconic public buildings and federal courthouses were targets of arson.”

Over 2,380 cases of looting were reported during the period analyzed by the MCCA, according to FOX News.

Rioters in many areas harassed business patrons and diners at restaurants, blocked roadways, and trespassed on private property, the MCCA said.

More than 40 percent of all protests held during the 10-week period included some type of civil disobedience, according to the report.

Police arrested over 16,200 suspects in connection with the riots and protests, but over half of law enforcement agencies reported that the district attorneys in their jurisdictions refused to prosecute those who they arrested, FOX News reported.

“In some instances, prosecutors refused to charge those arrested for felony crimes committed during the protests despite the availability of video evidence and suspect confessions,” the MCCA said.

A lack of support from government leaders and community members contributed to many law enforcement officers leaving embattled departments altogether, stretching overworked and understaffed agencies even further.

“The sheer volume of protests, combined with the level of civil disobedience and existence of some ultra-violent events, created an extraordinarily challenging environment for law enforcement agencies,” the MCCA noted in the report.