Policing is a dangerous profession. One study found that about 10% of officers are assaulted in a typical year, and other reports have ranked police work as one of the 20 deadliest jobs nationwide and in California.
But over time, police work has actually become much safer. A recent study shows a huge decrease in police officer deaths over the last 50 years — they’re down by 70% since 1970.
What accounts for the steep drop? The study published in Criminology and Public Policy cites a few reasons: better body armor and more police wearing bullet-proof vests; advances in trauma care for officers who are injured; improved training in de-escalation and gun safety and the development of tools, such as tasers, that help police manage encounters that could become violent.