Law Enforcement Officers Killed by Criminals Drops to Lowest Number in Decades

Thursday, December 04, 2014
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported only 27 law enforcement officers were killed by criminals last year. That figure is far smaller than any since before 1968.

The 2012 number was 49. Except for 2011, when 72 were killed, the number has hovered between 41 and 58 since 2004 and had been trending down for many years.

 

The high in recent decades was 134 police feloniously killed in 1973.

 

The 2013 deaths occurred in 16 states, the FBI said. More than half of the fatalities took place in the South, where 15 officers died. The others occurred in the West (six), the Midwest (four) and the Northeast (two). Sixteen of the 27 killed were employed by city police departments.

 

Five of them were ambushed by criminals. All but one of the deaths were the result of gunshot wounds, 18 involving handguns.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Officers Feloniously Killed (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed (Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online) (pdf)

Police Deaths May be Fewest Since 1944 (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

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