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FBI: 2 of 3 Slain Officers Wore Body Armor

May 14, 2012  | 

Two out of every three law enforcement officers who were killed in 2011 were wearing body armor, according to preliminary data released by the FBI today.

Of the 72 victim officers, 49 were wearing body armor at the times of their deaths, according to the FBI. The data was released as a preview of the FBI's annual "Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted" report, which arrives in the fall.

In 2011, 72 officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty. That number was 16 more than the 56 officers slain in 2010.

Of these 72 deaths, 19 officers were killed during ambushes (14 during unprovoked attacks and five due to entrapment situations); five were slain while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances; 11 were killed during traffic pursuits or stops; five of the fallen officers interrupted robberies in progress or were pursuing robbery suspects; and four died while responding to disturbance calls.

Six officers died during tactical situations; one died while conducting investigative activity; one officer died while handling or transporting a prisoner; and 20 officers were killed while attempting other arrests.

Offenders used firearms in 63 of the 72 deaths. By type of firearm, 50 officers were killed with handguns; seven with rifles; and six with shotguns. Criminals used vehicles to kill six officers; weapons such as hands, fists, and feet to kill two officers; and a knife or cutting instrument to kill one officer.

Seventeen of the victim officers fired their own weapons, and four were killed with their own weapons. Ten officers attempted to use their own weapons. Seven of the slain officers had their service weapons stolen.

There were 68 separate incidents that resulted in the deaths of 72 officers. Of those incidents, 67 were cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

By region, 29 victims were killed in the South, 21 in the Midwest, 10 each were killed in the West and the Northeast, and two were killed in Puerto Rico.

In addition to the officers who were feloniously killed in 2011, 50 officers were killed in accidents. This is a decrease of 22 officers compared with the 72 officers who were accidentally killed in 2010.

Tags: Duty Deaths, FBI, Crime Trends


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

George L Morales @ 5/14/2012 1:54 PM

It's a real eye opener when we read these articles. These are the last things we think about when we suit up every day. Always be ready for the unexpected.

michael @ 5/14/2012 7:43 PM

This is the fault of the LIBERAL Media, Attorneys, Judges and the State/Federal System that cowards to the loud mouths. Citizens, legal or not have no respect anymore for Peace Officers and for the job we do. They are not afraid to resist and fight officers, even kill them if they get that opportunity. The system is so broken. Most scumbags know officers wear vest.......so they shoot for the head or use a high caliber round that the vest will not stop. It makes me sick to see so many officers being killed in the line of duty. It's unbelievable that so many die in accidents.
We need better built vehicles to protect us in chases, responding to calls etc.....we are not perfect drivers in anyway. But, we should have vehicles that are manufacture to give us additional protect due to the nature of our jobs and the risk factors we encounter everyday. Things must change, we can not go on this way. In most cases Peace Officers are trying to provide Peace,Security,Protection and Help to all....................why can't we get the people we care about and citizens to understand that we offer these services to all of them and sometimes at the ultimate price.

Joel @ 5/15/2012 6:56 AM

I do agree with Michael! With additional comments. Training budgets are the first to get cut when money gets tight. Second lets cut services. The city I live in has the same number of Police Officers now on the street as in 1984! So again when money gets tight lets cut Officers, Training and continue to use equipment past the safe life expectancy and then wonder why moral is so low and turn over is high along with excesive force complaints. I commend each and every man and woman that puts on the uniform, works that 12 hour shift to protect me and my family! I will do everything leaglly to help LE do their job. I pray to God to keep the ones safe who come when I call, PLEASE do the same.

Morning Eagle @ 5/15/2012 12:03 PM

It has become common knowledge that most officers today wear body armor so those that are willing to shoot at officers try to avoid hitting it. More are willing to shoot and Michael makes a good point about the laxity at the court level in our broken criminal justice system being at least partly to blame. Add to that the growing trend of individuals failing to accept responsibility for their actions and blaming someone else for the trouble they have brought down on their own little pointed heads and we have a deadly combination in play when they are contacted by an officer for whatever reason. Too often they just start shooting. Not only that but go back up and look at how many were killed in ambush type situations. Not a pretty picture.

It would be interesting to see figures on how many officers were saved by their body armor during this same period because it is definitely worth wearing.

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