Officers killed in the line of duty jumps 13 percent

Deriek Crouse was one of nearly 200 officers killed in the line of duty in 2011. (Photo: Virginia Tech Police)

WASHINGTON (AP) - A report released by a police group shows the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty this year has jumped 13 percent from the year before.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released the report Wednesday showing that 173 officers died in the line of duty across the nation. That's up from 153 deaths the year before.

It was fueled by a rise in the number of deaths caused by firearms. In all, 68 federal, state and local officers were killed by gunfire in 2011. That's a 15 percent jump from last year.

Craig Floyd, the group's chairman, blamed the rising toll on "drastic budget cuts" that have forced some departments to cut back on training and delay upgrading equipment.