The FBI reported this morning that 95 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2012, while 52,901 were assaulted while on the job.
Forty-eight of the deaths were the result of criminal acts and spread across 26 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The number is down by 24 from the officers killed in 2011.
The average age of the slain officers was 38 years old; 43 were male and 5 female, and 42 were white and six black.
“Of the 48 officers feloniously killed, 12 were killed in arrest situations, eight were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, eight were conducting traffic pursuits/stops, six were ambushed, five were involved in tactical situations, and four were answering disturbance calls. Three of the slain officers were handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners; one was conducting an investigative activity, such as surveillance, searches, or interviews; and one officer was killed while handling a person with a mental illness,” the FBI said. “Offenders used firearms to kill 44 of the 48 victim officers. Of these 44 officers, 32 were slain with handguns, seven with rifles, and three with shotguns. The type of firearm used was not reported in the deaths of two officers. Two officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons, one with personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.), and one with a knife.”
Thirty-three of the 51 assailants suspected in the officers’ death had priors.
Of the 47 officers who accidentally were killed in the line of duty, the majority of incidents were in the South.
“Twenty-two died as a result of automobile accidents, 10 were struck by vehicles, six died in motorcycle accidents, three were killed in falls, three died in aircraft accidents, two were accidentally shot, and one died in another type of duty-related accident,” the FBI said.
Of the assaults against officers, “assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 80.2 percent of the incidents, firearms in 4.3 percent of incidents, and knives or other cutting instruments in 1.7 percent of the incidents.”