Number of police officers killed in 2017 second lowest in 58 years
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The number of police officers who died in the line of duty decreased in 2017 and nearly hit its lowest number in 58 years, USA Today reported Thursday.

As of Thursday, 128 officers died in the line of duty this year, down from 135 in 2016. Since 1959, only 2013 saw fewer officers die while on duty, when 116 were killed, according to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

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The leading cause of death for officers in 2017 was traffic crashes, which killed 47 policemen and -women. Forty-four officers were shot and killed in 2017.

Law enforcement officials credited better training, improved safety gear and new policing strategies as possible reasons for the drop in deaths.

President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE drew criticism in July when he encouraged police officers in New York to treat suspects roughly when loading them into a vehicle. The remarks came during a speech on Long Island, N.Y., intended to lay out the Trump administration’s plan for defeating the criminal gang MS-13.

The number of people killed by police officers jumped from 963 in 2016 to 971 this year, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.