FBI Releases 2007 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted
by Jim Kouri
(This report is based on material obtained by National Association of Chiefs of Police.)
The FBI reported that 57 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty last year; 83 officers died in accidents while performing their official duties; and 59,201 officers suffered assaults while on duty. The 2007 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted released yesterday provides comprehensive tabular data about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal felonious attacks.
The 57 felonious line-of-duty deaths took place during 51 separate incidents. The deaths occurred in 25 states and Puerto Rico. The number of officers feloniously killed in 2007 increased by nine compared with the 2006 figure (48 officers). A five-year comparison shows an increase of five line-of-duty deaths compared with data for 2003 (52 officers), and a decrease of four deaths compared with data for 1998 (61 officers).
Officer Profile: Among the officers who were feloniously killed, the average age was 37 years. The victim officers had served in law enforcement for an average of 10 years at the time of the fatal incidents. All of the slain officers were male; 47 officers were white.
Circumstances: Of the 57 officers feloniously killed, 16 of the slain officers were involved in arrest situations, 16 were ambushed, 11 were performing traffic stops, five were answering disturbance calls, and four were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances. Of the remaining five officers who were feloniously killed in the line of duty, three were in tactical situations (e.g., high-risk entry); one was performing investigative duties; and one had custody of a prisoner for transport.
Weapons: Offenders used firearms to kill 55 of the 57 victim officers. Of these 55 officers, 38 were slain with handguns, eight with rifles, and eight with shotguns. The type of firearm was not reported for one officerís death. Two officers were killed with vehicles that were used as weapons.
Region: An analysis of the data by region showed that 31 of the felonious deaths occurred in the South, nine in the West, seven in the Northeast, and nine in the Midwest. One of the deaths took place in Puerto Rico.
Suspects: Law enforcnement agencies identified 62 alleged assailants in connection with the 57 felonious line-of-duty deaths. Fifty-eight of the assailants had prior criminal records, and 19 of them were under judicial supervision at the time of the felonious incidents.
Eighty-three law enforcement officers were killed in accidents while performing their duties in 2007. Automobile accidents claimed the highest number (49) of accidental line-of-duty deaths.
The Nationís law enforcement agencies reported to the FBIís Uniform Crime Reporting Program that 59,201 officers were assaulted while performing their duties. The largest percentage of victim officers (31.7 percent) were assaulted while responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.). Assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 80.2 percent of the incidents, firearms in 3.7 percent of the incidents, and knives or other cutting instruments in 1.7 percent of the incidents. In 14.4 percent of the assaults, other types of weapons were used.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.