Texas Leads Nation for Cops Killed On Duty

New data suggests poverty and unemployment has contributed to Texas topping all other states for the number of police officer deaths in the line of duty.

Since Texas first recorded a police death in 1791, the state has seen a total of 1,683 officers killed in the line of duty – 114 in Houston.

“Police officers do a very dangerous job and we're out there putting our lives on the line every single day, we're saying goodbye to our families not knowing if we're coming back at the end our shift, but we do it because we care about the pople in our community and we're part of that community,” says Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers' Union.

Like Houston, the number of cops killed Los Angeles, New York and Chicago coincides with high poverty rates, low education and gang activity.

“Violence against police officers is up across the nation, it has been the last several years and continues to be a problem,” says Gamaldi.

However, the manner in which police officers are killed while on duty has varied over the years.

“We're not just talking about officers being shot in the line of duty or stabbed, or anything like that,” says Gamaldi.  “Just the accident that are involved, rushing to calls, going after suspects, all of these things play a role.”

Police union president Joe Gamaldi says violence against police is up in recent years, but traffic accidents are common.

California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania round out the top five states with the most police officer deaths.

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