Friday, September 23, 2011

Longest stretches between line of duty deaths

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:

28 October 10, 1943 November 7, 1943
27 January 17, 1960 February 13, 1960
23 April 7, 1967 April 30, 1967
21 October 10, 1952 October 31, 1952
21 April 1, 2008 April 22, 2008
21 July 26, 2009 (2) August 16, 2009
20 February 19, 1941 March 11, 1941
20 September 23, 1954 October 13, 1954
20 December 22, 1958 January 11, 1959
20 April 7, 2001 April 27, 2001

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.