Police gun deaths surge in 2014; California leads nation

126 law enforcement officers nationwide died in line of duty this year, up 24%

In 2014, 126 law enforcement officers were killed nationwide in the line of duty -- a 24% jump over 2013. Of those, 14 were in California.

California, the most populous state in the nation, led the country, according to the report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. But it was closely followed by Texas with 11.

Gun deaths spiked 56% over the previous year for a total of 50. And ambush attacks on officers were the top cause of "felonious officer deaths" for the fifth consecutive year, according to the organization.

“We issue this report each year as a stark reminder that some 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers go out each and every day putting their lives on the line for our safety and protection,” Craig W. Floyd, head of the organization, said in a news release.

Following Texas was New York with nine officers killed in the line of duty this year; Florida, with six; and Georgia, five.

The 2014 national total is less, however, than the average for the last decade -- 151.  In 2011, fatalities hit 171. 

But the most deadly year ever, according to the group, was 1930, when 300 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty. 

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