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Police Officer Fatality Rates by State

Numbers of law enforcement officers killed vary greatly by state.

Governing compiled fatality data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, along with the number of police and corrections employees working for state and local governments, as estimated in the Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll.

An analysis of fatality data showed states in the southeastern U.S. recorded the nation's highest per capita death rates. Not including states with less than a few thousand officers, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas and Louisiana were found to have the most police deaths given their number of officers.

About half of fatalities result from traffic accidents. Shootings also account for a high number of deaths, followed by falls and work-related illnesses.

The following map illustrates average annual 2008-2012 per capita death rates for both law enforcement and corrections officers, with states recording higher rates in dark blue. Click a state to display current and historical data.

Mike Maciag is Data Editor for GOVERNING.
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