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LEARNING FROM OUR LOSSES
Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted in 2003

11/08/04

Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted 2003 graphicOnce again, it is our solemn duty to report to you the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed or assaulted over the last year in service to our country.

In summary:

  • Last year, 132 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. That's one officer lost every 2.8 days.
  • Of that total, 52 were "feloniously killed"--murdered by criminals. Eighty more officers died accidentally while on duty, mostly in traffic accidents.
  • Another 57,841 officers were assaulted on the job last year--about one every nine minutes.

These statistics--and the rest contained in the full report--are a sobering reminder of the dangers facing the men and women of law enforcement and of the sacrifices they make for our nation.

But this detailed accounting is more than just a well-deserved tribute to those who have served. It's underlying aim is prevention.

How? By spelling out the who, what, when, where, why, and how of these assaults and murders, the report provides insights into what went wrong and how these incidents might be avoided in the future.

Details are crucial: The time of day these incidents took place. The day of week. The location (city, state, and region). The kind of weapon used. Whether body armor was worn by the victim officer. The circumstances at the scene (was it an ambush, traffic stop, or disturbance call?). How long the fallen officer had served. To name just a few.

Together, these details paint a telling picture "for law enforcement trainers, analysts, and others who battle daily to improve the safety of all those who serve."

For these individuals and for anyone else who is interested, the nearly 90-page report is available free of charge on our website ... along with a press release summarizing its key findings.

Links: Uniform Crime Reports | Criminal Justice Information Services Division