Share

D.C. region sees uptick in police deaths

|
Local,DC,Maryland,Virginia,Crime,Hayley Peterson
Ten police officers were killed in the line of duty in the Washington tristate area in 2010, a precipitous jump from the three law enforcement deaths reported in 2009.

The uptick coincides with a national trend, showing a 37 percent spike in law enforcement deaths in the last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

A total of 160 federal, state and local law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in the past year, up from 117 deaths in 2009, the fund reported on Tuesday.

Locally, seven officers died in car accidents -- which was also the main cause of death among law enforcement officials nationwide. Roughly 45 percent of officers died in car accidents nationally, 16 of whom were struck by cars while standing outside their own vehicles.

By the numbers
201020092008
Statedeathsdeathsdeaths
Maryland505
Virginia 434
D.C.100
U.S.161116138

A total of 59 officers nationwide were shot and killed in 2010, a 20 percent increase over 2009.

Locally, Maryland State Trooper Wesley Brown was the only officer who died of gunshot wounds in 2010.

Brown, 24, was working off-duty as a security guard for a Forestville Applebee's

restaurant in June when he was shot and killed by a man the officer had formerly escorted from the restaurant for failing to pay his bill. Two men were arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Brown's death.

Brown was one of five officers Maryland lost this year. The other fallen officers -- all of whom died in car accidents -- were from Baltimore City, Montgomery County and Prince George's County.

In Virginia, four officers died within three months of each other, from June to September. Two officers died in car accidents and the other two drowned in Lake Anna.

D.C. reported one law enforcement death this year, after losing no officers for the past two years.

Officer Paul Dittamo, 32, was driving down Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Southeast around 2 a.m. on Oct. 30 in response to an incident report, when he struck a utility poll.

Dittamo suffered life-threatening injuries and later died at the hospital.

hpeterson@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment