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More than 140 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty last year, according to two organizations that track officer deaths nationwide.

The number marked a roughly 10 percent rise in officer deaths from last year, when 123 officers died in the line of duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The group released preliminary numbers late last month that showed 135 officers died nationwide in 2016. The Officer Down Memorial Page, which also tracks officer deaths, and news releases from law enforcement agencies added nine other officers to the list, bringing the preliminary number of deaths to 144.

Sixty-four officers died in firearms-related incidents last year, according to NLEOMF, making it the No. 1 cause of death for law enforcement. Gunfire claimed the lives of 41 officers in 2015, the group said.

“Public safety is a partnership and, too often, the service and sacrifice of our law enforcement professionals is taken for granted,” NLEOMF President and CEO Craig W. Floyd said in a statement. “We must never forget that 900,000 law enforcement officers nationwide risk their lives every day for our safety and protection.”

Texas was hardest-hit by police killings in 2016, according to NLEOMF. Numbers from the group and ODMP showed the state lost 19 officers last year.

See the full list of slain officers.

Cox National Content Desk |