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FBI: 47 Officers Feloniously Killed Last Year

May 13, 2013  | 

The number of officers feloniously killed on duty fell by about a third in 2012 when compared to the prior year, the FBI announced Monday.

Preliminary data shows that 47 officers were killed in 2012, a 35-percent drop from the 72 killed in 2011. The data will be included in the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report that's usually released in October. The report doesn't include officers killed in accidental deaths such as police vehicle accidents.

Of the 47 officers killed by suspects, 22 were killed in the South, eight were killed in the West, six were killed in the Northeast, five were killed in the Midwest, and six were killed in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

The profile of the slain officers mirrored earlier years in that the bulk (43 of the 47) were firearm-related. Of these, handguns led the way with 30, followed by rifles (seven) and shotguns (three). Non-gun deaths came from vehicles, a knife, and personal weapons (hands, fists, or feet).

The leading circumstance of the deaths (12) came as officers investigated suspicious persons or situations. Eight died conducting traffic pursuits or stops. Five were killed in ambushes. Four deaths cam on disturbance calls and three fallen officers were transporting, handling, or maintaining custody of prisoners. Other circumstances included drug-related matters, investigative activities, robberies in progress, a burglary in progress, and handling a mentally ill person.

In a troubling revelation, only 20 of the slain officers (42 percent) were wearing body armor at the time of their deaths. Only six of the officers fired their service weapons.

Of the 47 victim officers, 42 have been cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

An additional 45 officers were accidentally killed in the line of duty in 2012, a drop from the 53 accidentally killed in 2011. Of those, 22 died due to automobile accidents, 10 were struck by vehicles, and six officers were in motorcycle accidents. Three of the officers were killed in aircraft accidents, two in accidental shootings, one from a fall, and one officer died as a result of an ATV accident.

Final statistics and complete details will be published by the FBI in the fall.

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

John Russell @ 5/13/2013 6:26 PM

Sounds like THOSE MACHINES ie cars and motorcycles can be hard core murderers?

Commander @ 5/14/2013 4:46 AM

Stronger gun control in Northeast equals less murders of cops?

Lt. Sal @ 5/14/2013 5:03 AM

Although it is good news to hear the numbers are down, we are still on target to reach 100 work related deaths this year. We need to be vigilant in staying safe. Be mindful of your distances with others, avoide tunnel vision, and discuss tactics during briefings. We are all we have outthere and in a great deal of cases we are alone waiting for back up. Watch those hands, remember where cover is, create a plan as you approach that car or home. Do NOT get complacent. Yes we have all done thousands of traffic stops and alarm calls. It may be boring but it is not hard to treat each one as the dangerous one. Wear your vest, if not for yourself, for your partner and for your family. If you and your partner are involved in a shootout and you get hurt because you did not wear your armor, is it really fair to them? You cut their survival chances in half and odds are they will get shot trying to pull you to safer ground. So think two steps ahead and stay safe.

CCmike @ 5/14/2013 8:58 AM

Statistics not mentioned: How many of the killers were actually the registered owner of the firearm they used? How many of them were prior offenders? How many of them were felons allowed back into society because of overcrowding? Of the mentally ill, how many of them were repeatedly institutionalized and released because they habitually fell off of their medications?

halderon @ 5/15/2013 10:12 AM

ccmike: We understand your rant on gun control,but let me ask you how can I help it if prisons are overcrowded? What changes to the Mental Health code can I make? What is your solution? I grow weary of hearing about all the faults in the system that I can do nothing about. You need to provide alternative solutions instead of repetitions..

ccmike @ 5/16/2013 10:32 AM

Let's focus on what works. Non violent offenders need to have sentencing that makes sense. Ie community service in a time where the govt. is getting diminishing returns off of tax dollars.We waste taxpayer money on 3x offenders, or on patronage jobs/contracts. Also, identify skills for those offenders. Why is a certified mechanic working on picking up garbage or sitting in a cell instead of using his skills to keep municipal, state or federal vehicles running. Also, as in Domestic Violence, offenders get no quarter and the total attention of the judicial system. Special attention is paid them due to the culture of fear that is inherent with that form of violence. Gun violence has developed a similar culture of fear, why no similar rules. Why do we focus our attention on the instrument instead of the musician. Empower the police to perform their duties. Allow for evidence to stand alone, ie powder residue, possession of a weapon that was used in an act of gun violence, and ensure that the courts stop acting like a revolving door for violent offenders. Why do the responsible citizens pay for the acts of those who show the system absolutely no respect at all? If we divest ourselves from all freedoms, I am sure that much of this violence will disappear. As for the mental health care system, changes can be made for those who show a history of violence before it becomes a crisis. After all, the school system in america has gone to the point where if someone makes a gun out of a donut, the "offender" can be suspended or expelled. That kind of knee jerk reaction is really legitimate response to the crisis. After all, lets make a bunch of new rules, as has been done in the past. This has a clear history of no progress. Let's just panic. We will take the high road and call all reaction a rant so that we can continue aimlessley until we allow the lowest common denominator whittle away at the 2nd and 4th am

Dougthomson @ 6/7/2013 8:37 PM

Go mike go
I believe ur very right

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