A group that tracks the number of law officers who’re killed in the line of duty says there’s good news as the year comes to a close. Craig Floyd is the chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. He says 153 officers nationwide were killed in the line of duty in 2005, something he calls a “terrible tragedy.” But, he says the good news is there’s a downward trend in fatalities among law officers. Floyd says the 1970’s were the worst decade with an average of 220 officers dyeing in the line of duty, but that’s continued to drop.

Floyd says the news was very encouraging for Iowa as he says Iowa did not lose a single officer in the line of duty in the last year. He says throughout history, 140 Iowa officers have been killed in the line of duty. Floyd says one of the disturbing trends is the way offices died while on duty. He says 60 officers died in shootings, but the number one cause was traffic-related incidents, with 62 deaths. Among those, Floyd says 15 were killed after being struck by vehicles during traffic stops or at accident scenes.

Iowa has a relatively new law requiring motorists to shift lanes if they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. Floyd says that’s very helpful, as he says only a handful of states have a law similar to Iowa. He says that law only makes sense. Floyd says better training and improved equipment are needed to help cut down on other traffic-related deaths of officers. California had the most officers killed in the line of duty in 2005 with 17.