Being a police officer has become a much safer job in America, according to new numbers released Thursday by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. There were 128 law enforcement fatalities in 2017, a 10 percent drop, marking the second-safest year for law enforcement since 1959. The safest year was 2013, which saw 116 line-of-duty fatalities.
Being a cop is, statistically speaking, still a dangerous job — but not the most dangerous. The most dangerous profession, according to Bureau of Labor statistics, is logging, followed by fishing, and then aircraft piloting and engineering.
But numbers have been stable and trending lower overall for the past decade. One blip in the trend came in 2016, when a handful of violent and deadly ambushes on law enforcement led to an increase in fatalities from the previous year, up to 143 from 137 in 2015 (and a significant increase in firearm-related deaths).