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Tuesday, October 20, 2015
In The Line Of Duty: FBI Releases Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2014 Report
The FBI released the below information:
On May 29, 2014, a 42-year-old trooper with the New York State Police made a traffic stop on an interstate highway north of Binghamton. The veteran trooper parked behind the stopped car and approached the driver’s side window. In that fleeting moment, a truck traveling in the same direction at about 90 miles per hour suddenly swerved, sideswiping the car and striking the trooper, killing him instantly. The truck’s driver, a 60-year-old male with a criminal record, admitted after his capture that he intentionally veered to hit the trooper.
The chilling account of the unprovoked attack is just one of dozens of detailed narratives recounting the felonious deaths of law enforcement officers in the United States in 2014. The accounts are a central component of the latest Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report, issued today, which shows that 96 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty last year—51 as a result of felonious acts and 45 in accidents. The annual report, released by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, also shows that 48,315 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults in 2014.
In addition to the narratives, the online-only report includes comprehensive data tables that provide a closer look at the incidents: officer profiles, circumstances, weapons, locations, and identified suspects.
The felonious deaths of the 51 officers—all males—occurred in 24 states and Puerto Rico. The figure represents a significant increase over the number that occurred in 2013, when 27 officers were killed, but is lower than the numbers from 2009 (56 officers) and 2005 (55 officers).
Among the report’s findings:
The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 39, and they had served for an average of 13 years.
Offenders used firearms to kill 46 of the 51 victim officers: 33 were slain with handguns, 10 with rifles, and three with shotguns.
59 alleged assailants (54 of them males) were identified in connection with the line-of-duty deaths; 50 had prior criminal arrests.
39 of the officers feloniously killed with firearms were wearing body armor at the time of the incidents.
The largest percentage (30.8) of assaults on police officers occurred while they were responding to disturbance calls.
The LEOKA publication contains data on duly-sworn city, university/college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers. The information in the report comes from various sources: the law enforcement agencies participating in the UCR Program, FBI field offices, and several non-profit organizations, such as the Concerns of Police Survivors and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
In addition to collecting details about the critical aspects of fatal confrontations and assaults, the FBI’s LEOKA Program conducts extensive research on the data that eventually gets incorporated into officer safety awareness training the FBI provides for partner agencies.
Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, street crime, sex crime, cyber crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. He is a contributing editor to The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International and a regular contributor to the Washington Times. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and other print and online publications. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was a 12-year-old aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970 and served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. He also served two years on the Navy harbor tugboat USS Saugus at the U.S. nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. He went on to do security work as a Defense Department civilian employee and then became a freelance writer. You can read Paul Davis' Crime Beat columns, crime fiction and magazine and newspaper pieces on this website. You can also read his full bio by clicking on the above photo.