During 2013 there were 33 police officers in the United States killed in the line of duty by gunfire. That's 33 too many, but still remarkable. It is the lowest number of firearms deaths since 1887. That's right, I said 1887, 116 years ago, when the United States was less than a quarter of its current population. Better training and tactics is the chief cause of the decline, but information technology, body armor, ballistic shields, more capable weapons, and communications technology have all played a role, too.
Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the greatest threat to police officers and firefighters alike. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, wear your high visibility gear when working in or near the roadway, slow down, and stow the cell phone. Let's keep this trend going in 2014.