Covid was top line-of-duty death for US police for third year running in 2022

The Guardian

Covid was the top cause of death in the line of duty for American law enforcement for the third year in a row in 2022, according to a recent report, though the pace has slowed.

When the pandemic first hit, many law enforcement officers did what they could to lower the risks of catching Covid-19 – taking some reports over the phone rather than in person, trying to limit contact within departments and with the public.

Working on the front lines made some face-to-face contact unavoidable – and, as a result, hundreds of law enforcement officers died as Covid swept through the US. In 2020, there were at least 346 confirmed Covid deaths in the line of duty, and at least 301 work-associated deaths from Covid in 2021.

The actual mortality rate from Covid among law enforcement is assuredly higher, due to undercounting when tests were scarce and because reports like these only include line-of-duty deaths.

The total number of Covid deaths in 2022 was significantly lower than the previous two years, with 70 deaths in the line of duty, but it still outpaced all other causes of mortality on the job, according to a report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

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