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2013: Lowest police deaths by firearms since 1887

Published On: Dec 31 2013 12:19:40 AM CST

The number of law enforcement officers killed by firearms in 2013 has dropped to the lowest level since the 19th century.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The number of law enforcement officers killed by firearms in 2013 has dropped to the lowest level since the 1800s. That's according to a new report from the non-profit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

111 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty this year. 33 officers were killed by firearms this year in the U.S. It's the lowest number since 1887. 

"That's absolutely good news," said Officer Bob Laney.

The last Colorado Springs police officer killed by a firearm was Kenneth C. Jordan on December 5, 2006.

"We haven't dealt with any officer line of duty deaths this year for our department," said Sgt. Mike Roy.

The job has changed significantly since the 19th Century.

"All of our officers are wearing bullet-proof vests. Lot of agencies don't have that, but have trended towards issuing their officers vests," said Sgt. Roy.

Officer Laney has served Colorado Springs for 35 years.

"We do have options when we go to the field and it's nice to have those," he said.

Since 1896, 13 Colorado Springs police officers have died in the line of duty. Eight of which were killed by firearms. Officers attribute training to the lower death number.

"I think this has shown benefit in the survival rate in street police officers," said Officer Laney.

Although deaths by firearms were extremely low in 2013, Sgt. Roy said officers are always learning to try to do better. 

Both officers said the fear of being killed by firearms is as great as being killed by dangerous traffic. 46 officers in the U.S. in 2013 were killed in traffic-related incidents.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the city of Pueblo has lost nine officers since its inception. Seven were killed by firearms. Two of those were accidental.

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