COVID-19 was the leading cause of death among police officers in 2021, report says

COVID-19 was the leading cause of death among police officers in 2021, report says

Former Connecticut state trooper Troy Anderson told CBS News that the number of officer deaths in the line of duty deserves more attention.  Sixty-one officers were killed in the line of duty by firearms, a 36% increase from 2020, the report said. Fifty-eight officers were killed in traffic-related accidents, a 38% jump over the year before.  “The numbers, quite frankly, are staggering,” he said. 

Because the report is based on preliminary data, it’s possible the number of COVID-related deaths in 2021 could still increase, the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund said.  “Not only are we fighting with the criminals, we’re also fighting with this virus that’s out there,” he said. 

But COVID-19 isn’t the only reason 2021 was the deadliest year on record for officers.  Georgia’s Muscogee County Sheriff Gregory Countryman told CBS News that the virus continues to spread through his department and that he currently has 18 active cases. Barely more than 40% of the county’s residents have been vaccinated. 

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