October 29, 2007
Washington, D.C.—The FBI reported today that 48 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty last year; 66 officers died in accidents while performing their official duties; and 58,634 officers suffered assaults while on duty. The 2006 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, which was released today by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, provides comprehensive tabular data about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal felonious attacks.
The 48 felonious line-of-duty deaths took place during 47 separate incidents. The deaths occurred in 25 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The number of officers feloniously killed in 2006 decreased by 7 when compared with the 2005 figure (55 officers). A 5-year comparison showed a decrease of 8 line-of-duty deaths when compared with data for 2002 (56 officers), and a decrease of 22 line-of-duty deaths when compared with data for 1997 (70 officers).
Officer Profile: Among the officers who were feloniously killed, the average age was 38 years. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 11 years at the time of the fatal incidents. Forty-five of the slain officers were male; 38 officers were white.
Circumstances: Of the 48 officers feloniously killed, 12 of the slain officers were involved in arrest situations, 10 were ambushed, 8 were performing traffic violation stops, 8 of the slain officers were answering disturbance calls, and 6 were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances. Of the remaining 4 officers who were feloniously killed in the line of duty, 2 were in tactical situations (e.g., high-risk entry), 1 was handling a mentally ill person, and 1 had custody of a prisoner for transport.
Weapons: Offenders used firearms to kill 46 of the 48 victim officers. Of these 46 officers,
36 were slain with handguns, 8 with rifles, and 2 with shotguns. Eleven of the 48 victim officers who were slain were known to have fired their own weapons during the fatal incidents, and 7 officers attempted to use their own weapons during the incidents. Two officers were killed with vehicles that were used as weapons.
Region: An analysis of the data by region showed that 22 of the felonious deaths occurred in the South, 11 in the West, 7 in the Northeast, and 6 in the Midwest. Two of the deaths took place in Puerto Rico.
Suspects: Law enforcement agencies identified 55 alleged assailants in connection with the 48 felonious line-of-duty deaths. Fifty-four of the assailants were male, 42 had prior criminal records, and 15 of them were under judicial supervision at the time of the alleged confrontations.
Sixty-six law enforcement officers were killed in accidents while performing their duties. Automobile accidents claimed the highest number (38) of accidental line-of-duty deaths.
The Nation’s law enforcement agencies reported to the FBI’s UCR Program that 58,634 officers were assaulted while performing their duties. The largest percentage of victim officers (30.9 percent) were assaulted while responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.). Assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 79.8 percent of the incidents, firearms in 3.9 percent of the incidents, and knives or other cutting instruments in 1.8 percent of the incidents. In 14.5 percent of the assaults, other types of weapons were used.