I really don’t want to bust anyone’s bubbles but with all the talk about police officers risking their life, I though I would look up the actual mortality rates involved. Turns out law enforcement is pretty safe compared to other professions/jobs. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in 2013 there were 102 “job-related” deaths out of some 900,000 sworn officers nationally.

That works out to around a 0.01% mortality rate. Compare that to agriculture/forestry/fishing/. at 29.6%, transportation at 16.3%, or even wholesale trade at 4.8%, a police job is pretty safe looking.

To add to the relatively low mortality rates overall digging into the statistics a little further reveals that 30 officers were shot to death. 11 were struck by a vehicle, 2 were stabbed, and 1 died in a “bomb-related incident.” Additional causes of death were: aircraft accident (1), automobile accident (28), motorcycle accident (4), falling (6), drowning (2), electrocution (1), and job-related illness (13).

Policing is a dangerous job (kinda) but most of our neighbors walk into more deadly situations everyday when they go to work. I am grateful for the work of peace officers but the local convenience store clerk has a much higher chance of dying on the job.


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