With more than a week to go in 2020 and with December being historically the most deadly month for law enforcement, more police officers have died in the line of duty this year than in history. Currently, the Officer Down Memorial Page shows 286 deaths, which would be a record high but there are still 135 COVID-19 Deaths yet to be confirmed by ODMP, which would place the total Line of Duty number to 421.
It may take us well into 2021 to see the complete total but two things are clear.
2020 will be the most tragic year in American Law Enforcement History and very few even know about it.
The CDC lists 946 healthcare professionals deaths due to COVID-19 and we should honor their sacrifices but lost in the news is that by proportionally, more law enforcement officers have died from COVID-19 than any other profession…..and it’s not even close.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 16 million healthcare professionals and there are approximately 700,000 police officers.
The 2020 Line of Duty Deaths in other categories remained equal to previous years with 45 officers being shot and killed, down from 48 last year. 20 officers were killed in vehicle collisions, down from 22 last year.
The National Fraternal Order of Police reports with sadness that as of today, 304 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty due to #COVID19.
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) December 19, 2020
Obviously, COVID-19 decimated law enforcement across the country and it did not discriminate. All ranks, ages, race, ethnicity and gender were affected.
We are grateful to President Trump for declaring any COVID-19 Law Enforcement Death as Line of Duty Related back in April. But no one had an idea of the tragedy it would bring to law enforcement in 36 states.
The Fraternal Order of Police has been compiling data on this issue and we are grateful for Mark McDonald, who has worked tirelessly this year to bring awareness to this issue.