WASHINGTON — The fall of the World Trade Center made 2001 the deadliest year for law enforcement in almost three decades.
About 230 federal, state and local officers were killed in the line of duty this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Seventy-one of them lost their lives after terrorists rammed planes into the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and caused them to collapse.
"The incredible bravery and selfless sacrifice our officers displayed that day was no different than every other day of the year in communities across America," said Craig Floyd, chairman of the Memorial Fund.
The death toll for law enforcement officers is the highest since 1974, which was the deadliest year ever for police. About 270 police were killed in 1974.
The early 1970s saw high death rates because police departments were not yet equipped with bulletproof vests and violent crime was soaring.
The police department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, based in New Jersey, lost 37 officers in the Sept. 11 attacks. The New York City Police Department lost 23 officers.
By state, New Jersey suffered the most deaths in 2001, losing 41 officers. Next came New York with 31, Texas with 20 and California with 12.