Table contents
Table 2.1
Table 63
Table 64
Table 65
Table 66
Table 67
Table 68
Table 69
Table 70
Table 71


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Section I Officers Feloniously and Accidentally Killed | Section III Federal Officers Killed and Assaulted

Section II

Law Enforcement Officers Assaulted



Section II contains data pertaining to assaults on sworn local, state, and tribal law enforcement officers. The UCR Program collects information monthly from the agencies that collect and submit data either through their state UCR Program or, for the non-Program states, directly to the FBI. For data to be included in Section II, law enforcement agencies must have submitted information for all 12 months of 2004 on officers who were assaulted as well as the number of people they employed full time for the reporting year.

Law enforcement agencies report to the UCR Program the number of assaults resulting in injuries to their officers or instances in which an offender used a weapon that could have caused serious injury or death. Agencies record other assaults only if they involved more than verbal abuse or minor resistance to an arrest.



In 2004, the FBI collected data from 10,459 law enforcement agencies that provided services to nearly 226 million persons (76.8 percent of the Nation’s population). The participating law enforcement agencies employed 499,396 officers, and of these, 59,373 were assaulted while performing their duties, a rate of 11.9 assaults per 100 officers. The assaults resulted in injuries to 16,563 of these officers. (See Table 63.)

By region, law enforcement agencies in the South, the Nation’s most populous region, indicated that officers in the region were assaulted at a rate of 13.8 assaults per 100 officers employed. Officers in the West were assaulted at a rate of 11.0 per 100 officers, agencies in the Midwest reported that officers were assaulted at a rate of 10.5 for every 100 officers employed, and the Northeast had a rate of 9.6 assaults per 100 officers. (See Table 63.)

By population group, the rate of assaults was highest, 17.1 assaults per 100 officers, in law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 250,000 or more residents. Among the population groups labeled city, the rate was lowest, 7.9 assaults per 100 officers, in those agencies with under 10,000 inhabitants. Law enforcement officers in metropolitan counties experienced a rate of 10.3 assaults per 100 officers, and agencies in nonmetropolitan counties had a rate of 6.2 assaults for every 100 officers. (See Table 64.)



Of the 59,373 officers who were assaulted in 2004, 27.9 percent of those officers suffered injuries. Among the Nation’s four regions, law enforcement agencies in the Northeast had the highest percentage, 32.6, of injuries among officers assaulted. In the Midwest, 28.9 percent of the officers in the Midwest who were assaulted suffered injuries, followed by the West with 28.1 percent, and the South with 26.2 percent. (Based on Table 63.)

A review of the data by population group showed that law enforcement agencies in the Nation’s smallest cities, those under 10,000 in population, had the highest percentage, 30.3 percent, of its officers injured during assaults. Agencies in cities with populations of 25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants had the lowest percentage of officers injured at 26.7 percent. In metropolitan counties, 27.1 percent of the assaulted officers sustained injuries, and in nonmetropolitan counties, 27.4 percent. (Based on Table 64.)  



In 2004, the largest percentage, 28.8, of assaults on law enforcement officers occurred from 10:01 p.m. and 2 a.m., and the smallest percentage, 6.4, occurred from 4: 01 a.m. to 8 a.m. The time of the attacks continued a long-time trend as the largest percentage, 29.5, of assaults on police officers over the past 10 years (1995–2004) also occurred from 10:01 p.m. and 2 a.m., and, likewise, the smallest percentage, 6.2, took place from 4:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. (Based on Table 65.)



An examination of the assault data revealed that most officers, 30.7 percent, were assaulted when responding to disturbance calls. Thirteen percent of the officers were handling, transporting, or had custody of prisoners, 11.1 percent were conducting traffic pursuits or stops, and 9.3 percent were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances. Nearly 2 percent (1.8) of the officers were handling mentally deranged persons at the time they were assaulted, 1.4 percent were investigating burglaries in progress or were pursuing burglary suspects, 1.2 percent were policing civil disorders, and 0.9 percent were responding to robberies in progress or were pursuing robbery suspects. The circumstance in which the lowest percentage of law enforcement officers, 0.3 percent, were assaulted was ambush situations. Over 16 percent (16.3) of officers were attempting other types of arrests, and 13.8 percent were attacked while performing other duties. (See Table 67.)



Law enforcement may clear offenses either by arrest or by exceptional means, i.e., when elements beyond the control of law enforcement prevent the placing of formal charges against the offender. In 2004, law enforcement agencies cleared 87.5 percent of the 59,373 assaults on their officers. By circumstance, these agencies cleared the greatest percentage, 89 percent, of assaults on officers who were responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.). The circumstance with the lowest percentage of clearances, 66.7 percent, was ambush situations. (See Table 66.)


Types of Assignment

An examination of the data concerning types of assignments in which officers were working when they were assaulted revealed that 80.4 percent of the officers were assigned to vehicle patrols: of these, 78.5 percent were assigned to 1-officer patrols, and 21.5 percent were assigned to 2-officer patrols. Five percent of the officers assaulted were assigned to detective duties or had special assignments, and 14.6 percent of the officers were assigned to other duties. Of the officers assaulted, 70.1 percent received assistance from fellow officers and 29.9 percent were alone and unassisted. (Based on Table 67.)



As in past years, offenders used personal weapons, such as hands, fists, or feet, in the majority of assaults, 80.1 percent, on law enforcement officers. Offenders used firearms in 3.6 of the assaults on officers and knives or cutting instruments in 1.9 percent of the assaults. Attackers used other dangerous weapons in 14.5 percent of assaults on law enforcement officers. (See Table 69.)

Concerning the officers who sustained injuries when they were attacked with these weapons, 29.4 percent of the officers assaulted with personal weapons suffered injuries. Of the officers attacked by persons with knives or cutting instruments, 14.1 percent suffered injuries, and of those assaulted by persons with firearms, 9.6 percent suffered injuries. Over a quarter, 25.7 percent, of the officers attacked by persons with other types of dangerous weapons suffered injuries. (See Table 68.)

Table 2.1

Law Enforcement Officers Assaulted

Population Covered and Number of Reporting Agencies
by Population Group of Victim Officer's Agency, 2004

Population group
Number of reporting agencies Population covered Number of officers employed
10,459 225,597,839 499,396
Group I (cities 250,000 and over)
61 38,952,367 91,146
Group II (cities 100,000 - 249,999)
154 23,084,084 41,833
Group III (cities 50,000 - 99,999)
354 24,336,875 42,201
Group IV (cities 25,000 - 49,999)
621 21,539,903 39,072
Group V (cities 10,000 - 24,999)
1,388 21,950,833 42,714
Group VI (cities under 10,000)1
5,415 17,971,779 60,705
Metropolitan counties1
879 55,824,865 138,896
Nonmetropolitan counties1
1,587 21,937,133 42,829
1Includes universities and colleges, state police agencies, and/or other agencies to which no population is attributed.

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