The 122 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2017 is one of the lowest numbers in fifty years, but Texas is still in the Hall of Shame as the state with the most deaths of all this year, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
14 Texas law officers were killed while on duty this year, according to Craig Floyd, President of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which will open the National Law Enforcement Museum later this year in Washington DC.
This is the second year in a row that Texas has led the nation in the number of officers killed in a year. In 2016, there was the tragic sniper attack on officers in Dallas, but in 2017, Floyd says the officers were killed in separate incidents.
"For example, six officers in Texas were killed by gunfire," he said. "Four officers were killed in traffic related incidents, which nationwide is the number one cause of officer deaths."
One officer drowned while heading to work during Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and three officers died of 'job related stress.'
Of course one of those shot to death was San Antonio Officer Miguel Moreno, who was killed in June by a gunman who opened fire for no apparent reason as Moreno and his partner, who was wounded, were patrolling for car burglaries just north of downtown.
"Frankly it does have a lot to do with the fact that Texas is a very populous state," he said of Texas leading the nation. "A lot of roadway out there, and a lot of officers out there without backup."
He says the presence of hundreds of miles of Texas-Mexico border is also a source of danger for Texas law officers, especially as dangerous Mexican cartels get more and more involved in immigrant smuggling. One of those killed was a Border Patrol officer.
"The illegal immigrants, for example, who make their way into Texas pose a threat to all of us, but particularly to the law enforcement officers who have to patrol our borders," he said.
Floyd says the real story is, of the estimated 62 million interactions between police and citizens in 2017, fewer than two percent involved even talk of force, and fewer than 1% involved the officer using any actual force.