two days into 2004 a police sergeant and
an officer in the Athens, Alabama, Police
Department responded to a 28-year-old man's
911 emergency calls.
first officer on the scene was met by rifle-fire
as he pulled his squad car into the driveway
of the caller, who was under the influence
of alcohol and had a history of mental problems.
The 40-year-old officer was shot several
times in the chest, which was protected
by armor, but a bullet wound to his head
killed him. Moments later, as his sergeant
arrived as backup, the shooter moved to
his front porch and began firing again.
The 42-year-old sergeant sought cover, but
was felled by a fatal barrage of bullets
that hit him in the neck and lower back.
two officers were the first of 57 law enforcement
professionals—and our partners—killed
in the line of duty last year, according
to the our newly released Uniform Crime
Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted,
2004. In addition to documenting each
death, the annual report contains statistical
analyses of their particular circumstances—type
of emergency call, weapons used, time of
day, location—as well as profiles
of the officers and their assailants.
purpose of the data and analysis? In
a word, prevention: to provide specific
information that can be used to develop
strategies and training initiatives that
will improve the safety of law enforcement
report—based on data submitted by
nearly 10,500 local, state, tribal, and
federal law enforcement agencies—also
details assaults on officers and accidental
deaths. Last year, 59,373 officers were
assaulted on duty; 16,563 of those officers
suffered injuries. A total of 82 law enforcement
officers suffered accidental deaths in 2004.
report's state-by-state summaries of the
officers' slayings offer a chilling glimpse
of the dangers facing law enforcement officers