At the beginning of this month we were blessed with nine straight days without a line of duty death reported. So a Martin County (FL) Deputy Sheriff asked us, “What is the longest stretch of days without an officer fatality in the United States?”
When generating these kinds of statistics, the further back we go in time, the less complete the data is†. For instance, when we first ran these numbers two weeks ago we showed a stretch of 32 days without a fatality in 1901. However ODMP’s research team since discovered and added Deputy Sheriff Robert Coffey (Christian County Sheriff's Office, KY), so the data has already changed.
Therefore, to make these statistics most meaningful, the following statistics include recorded line of duty deaths from 1910 through today.
The longest stretches of time without recorded line of duty deaths are:
These long stretches are particularly remarkable when you consider that since 1910, the average span between LODDs is 2.06 days (just over 49 hours).
Line of duty deaths occurred most frequently in the 1920's, followed by the 1970's. The graph below shows the average number of days between LODDs in the decades since 1910.
† I am proud of ODMP's research team, led by NYPD Lt. Steve Weiss, that has uncovered the previously-forgotten stories of 952 heroes who died in the line of duty.