In a reversal of recent trends and positive news for the law enforcement community, law enforcement fatalities declined significantly nationwide during the first half of 2012, reaching a 52-year low.

Fifty-three law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the first six months of this year, according to preliminary figures released by the Washington-based National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in conjunction with the Concerns of Police Survivors. This represents a 44 percent decrease over the 94 officers who lost their lives during the same time last year. Officer fatalities decreased across all circumstances yet peace officer ambushes remain the leading circumstance of fatal shootings.

View statistics on police fatalities at the web site of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.