About Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

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The FBI publishes Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted each year to provide information about the officers who were killed, feloniously or accidentally, and those officers who were assaulted while performing their duties. The FBI collects these data through the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

Data considerations

When reviewing the tables, charts, and narrative summaries presented in this publication, readers should be aware of certain features of the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data collection process that could affect their interpretation of the information.

  • The data in the tables and charts reflect the number of victim officers, not the number of incidents or weapons used.
  • The UCR Program considers any part of the body that can be used as weapons (such as hands, fists, or feet) to be personal weapons and designates them as such in its data.
  • Law enforcement agencies use a different methodology for collecting and reporting data about officers who were killed than for those who were assaulted. As a result, information about assaults or officers killed resides in two separate databases, and data are not always comparable.
  • Because the information in the tables of this publication are updated each year, the FBI cautions readers against making comparisons between the data in this publication and those in prior editions of the publication.

History

Beginning in 1937, the FBI’s UCR Program collected and published statistics on law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in its annual publication, Crime in the United States. Statistics regarding assaults on officers were added in 1960. In June 1971, executives from the law enforcement conference, “Prevention of Police Killings,” called for an increase in the FBI’s involvement in preventing and investigating officers’ deaths. In response to this recommendation, the UCR Program expanded its collection of data to include more details about the incidents in which law enforcement officers were feloniously killed and assaulted.

Using this comprehensive set of data, the FBI began in 1972 to produce two reports annually, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed Summary and the Analysis of Assaults on Federal Officers. These two reports were combined in 1982 to create the annual publication, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.

Victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks

The deaths of the law enforcement officers as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001, are not included in the trend data in the tables of this publication. Because of the unique nature of the data from this singular event, including these extreme values in rate or trend data would skew data for most analyses.

Publishing on the Web

For several years, the FBI’s UCR staff worked toward the goal of publishing all of its reports solely to the Internet, which removes many of the limitations of hard copy books without losing the value of the information being provided. Beginning with the 2005 edition, the FBI began producing Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted exclusively as a Web publication. That report, along with the subsequent publications, contain all the information that was published in previous years’ hard copy reports but with the benefits of navigable files and downloadable information.

What do you think?

The E-Government Act of 2002 promotes more efficient uses of information technology by the federal government. This online report is a product of the FBI’s effort to reach a larger audience more efficiently. The FBI welcomes your feedback about this electronic report via a short feedback form. Your comments will help us improve the presentation of future releases of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.

What you won't find on this page:

Raw data. The data presented in Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted provide information about law enforcement officers killed and assaulted in the Nation broken down by state and region. More detailed data (e.g., the type of activity and the victim and offender’s age, sex, and race) at the incident and agency level (absent any personal identifying information) are furnished via the UCR Program’s LEOKA Database File. The 2008 raw data from this file will be available after the release of the 2008 publication. For more information, contact the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division via e-mail at cjis_comm@leo.gov or by telephone at (304) 625-4995.

LEOKA data for 2009. Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2009, will be published on the Web in the fall of 2010.

If you have questions about the data in this publication

Contact the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division via e-mail at cjis_comm@leo.gov or by telephone at (304) 625-4995.