Texas leads the U.S. in officer-related deaths in 2020, report finds

Funeral held for HPD Sgt. Sean Rios in Houston in November 2020.

HOUSTON – 2020 was the deadliest year for officer-related deaths, and Texas tops a nationwide list produced by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum.

The organization found officer deaths have increased sharply by 96%, with COVID-19 being the leading cause, according to a news release distributed this week.

Texas leads the U.S. in officer fatalities, with 48 in 2020, followed by New York, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana, the release said.

Thirteen states did not lose an officer in 2020.

“As the leading authority in line-of-duty deaths, this time of year always reminds us of the sacrifice of law enforcement and the importance of our mission to honor the fallen, tell the story of American law enforcement, and make it safer for those who serve.” said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto. “The year 2020 will go down as the year of the most line-of-duty fatalities since 1974 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Aside from COVID-19, traffic-related fatalities have seen an uptick, while firearm-related deaths went down 6%. The report also recorded one helicopter crash.

The museum named all 22,217 names of the officers who were killed in the line of duty, starting with the first recorded death in 1786. This year, 246 officers were male and 18 were female, with average age of 47 years.

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.