5 PA police officers killed in 2012

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 1, 2013 4:00 AM

(Washington) -- Pennsylvania saw a slight uptick in the number of police officers killed in the line of duty in 2012.

The commonwealth lost five officers this year, compared to four in 2011.

Patrolman Avery Freeman of the Chester Police Department died from complications of surgery in April for an injury suffered while on duty.

Officer Bradley Fox of the Plymouth Township Police Department was shot during a foot pursuit of a suspect in September.

Officer Moses Walker, Jr. of the Philadelphia Police Department was shot while trying to stop two men from robbing him shortly after he finished his shift in August.

Officer Brian Lorenzo of the Philadelphia Police Department was struck head-on by wrong-way driver in July.

State Trooper Blake Coble's patrol car was hit by a tractor trailer in October.

Nationwide, 127 officers were killed on duty, a 23 percent decline from the 165 killed last year.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Craig Floyd says
body armor is playing a role in decreasing officer deaths.

"Over the last two years, 2010 through 2011, more than 30 percent of the officers who were killed in the line of duty were not wearing their body armor," Floyd says. "As a result of that, many more departments are requiring their officers to wear bullet-resistant vests."

Floyd says more than 3,100 officers have been saved by body armor in the last 25 years.

Texas saw the highest number of police deaths in 2012, at nine.

Pennsylvania ranks eighth in officer deaths this year.

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