This Is How Dangerous Law Enforcement Jobs Are in West Virginia

This Is How Dangerous Law Enforcement Jobs Are in West Virginia

Tasked with protecting lives and property, police officers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Responding to emergencies, conducting traffic stops, patrolling high-crime areas, and arresting suspects are all part and parcel of the job – and each year, dozens of police officers are killed in the line of duty, feloniously or accidentally. (These are the most dangerous jobs in America.)

According to data compiled by the FBI, a total of 984 police officers in the U.S. were killed on the job over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. Just under half of those deaths – 480 – were accidental, often a case of officers on foot being struck by a moving vehicle or dying in a car crash.

The remaining 504 officers, however, were killed feloniously, which the FBI defines as an officer who “was fatally injured as a direct result of a willful and intentional act by an offender.” The circumstances of these deaths range from unprovoked attacks to ambushes, domestic violence calls, or active shooter situations. South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming are the only three states in which no police were killed on the job in the last decade.

In West Virginia, a total of six police officers have been killed on the job in the last decade, or 174 officers for every 100,000 police on the force as of 2021 – the 23rd highest fatality rate among the 47 states in which at least one officer was killed between 2012 and 2021.

Of the officers killed in the state, one was killed accidentally, and five were killed feloniously. These numbers are a reminder that the hundreds of thousands of men and women who work in law enforcement put their lives on the line each time they put on their uniform.

Rank State Deaths per 100k officers (2012-2021) Total police deaths (2012-2021) Total accidental deaths (2012-2021) Total felonious deaths (2012-2021) Total law enforcement officers (2021)
1 Mississippi 645 29 16 13 4,494
2 Louisiana 460 47 21 26 10,211
3 Illinois 355 33 19 14 9,301
4 New Mexico 346 11 5 6 3,181
5 Indiana 326 15 5 10 4,606
6 Alaska 308 4 1 3 1,297
7 Arkansas 280 19 8 11 6,788
8 South Carolina 254 27 17 10 10,642
9 Ohio 238 26 10 16 10,922
10 Arizona 237 30 14 16 12,652
11 Alabama 224 27 13 14 12,056
12 Georgia 218 53 26 27 24,324
13 Hawaii 212 6 3 3 2,828
14 Kansas 211 12 3 9 5,677
15 North Dakota 210 4 1 3 1,908
16 Missouri 201 19 9 10 9,466
17 Oklahoma 199 18 13 5 9,025
18 Texas 196 116 57 59 59,121
19 Iowa 190 10 5 5 5,251
20 Kentucky 187 14 7 7 7,494
21 Colorado 185 23 13 10 12,416
22 Utah 184 10 2 8 5,446
23 West Virginia 174 6 1 5 3,456
24 Maine 170 4 3 1 2,348
25 Tennessee 151 27 19 8 17,886
26 Montana 148 3 1 2 2,032
27 Washington 144 15 7 8 10,431
28 North Carolina 130 31 17 14 23,788
29 Delaware 129 3 0 3 2,324
30 Nevada 126 9 2 7 7,136
31 Virginia 124 23 12 11 18,542
32 Pennsylvania 123 20 11 9 16,202
33 Michigan 122 22 11 11 17,961
34 Wisconsin 108 12 5 7 11,105
35 Maryland 105 16 8 8 15,184
36 Nebraska 105 4 2 2 3,798
37 New Hampshire 104 3 1 2 2,871
38 Florida 102 49 24 25 47,993
39 California 97 75 35 40 77,621
40 Massachusetts 75 12 7 5 15,923
41 Minnesota 70 7 3 4 10,041
42 Idaho 67 2 1 1 2,995
43 Oregon 64 4 2 2 6,286
44 New York 57 33 19 14 58,388
45 Rhode Island 40 1 1 0 2,491
46 Connecticut 40 3 2 1 7,557
47 New Jersey 34 13 11 2 38,223
48 South Dakota 0 0 0 0 1,935
49 Vermont 0 0 0 0 1,089
50 Wyoming 0 0 0 0 1,551

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