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FBI: 118 LEOs killed in line of duty in 2016

The FBI has released its annual LEOKA report


By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON – The FBI has released the 2016 edition of its annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) report.

A total of 118 police officers were killed in the line of duty last year, including an uptick in the number of those feloniously killed in 2016 (66) compared to 2015 (41). Of the 59 alleged assailants identified in connection with the deaths, 45 of the assailants had prior criminal arrests and 14 were under judicial supervision at the times of the incidents.

The report also found 57,180 officers were assaulted while conducting their duties.

Felonious Deaths

Officer Profiles

The average age of the officers who were feloniously killed was 40 years old, with an average of 13 years of service at the times of the fatal incidents. Of the 66 officers, 64 were male, and two were female. 

Circumstances

At the time the 66 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed:

  • 17 were ambushed (entrapment/premeditation);
  • 13 were answering disturbance calls (seven were domestic disturbance calls);
  • nine were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances;
  • six were engaged in tactical situations;
  • five were performing investigative activities (such as surveillances, searches, or interviews);
  • four were conducting traffic pursuits/stops;
  • three were investigating drug-related matters;
  • three were victims of unprovoked attacks;
  • one was answering a burglary in progress call or pursuing a burglary suspect(s);
  • one was answering a robbery in progress call or pursuing a robbery suspect(s); and
  • four were attempting other arrests.

Weapons Used

Offenders used firearms to kill 62 of the 66 victim officers. Of these 62 officers, 37 were slain with handguns, 24 with rifles and one with a shotgun. Four officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons.

Accidental Deaths

Fifty-two law enforcement officers were killed accidentally while performing their duties in 2016, with the majority (26) killed in automobile accidents.

Officer Profiles

The average age of the officers who were accidentally killed was 38 years old; the average number of years the victim officers had served in law enforcement was 11. Of the 52 officers accidentally killed, 50 were male and two were female.

Circumstances

Of the 52 officers accidentally killed:

  • 26 died as a result of automobile accidents;
  • 12 were struck by vehicles;
  • seven officers died due to motorcycle accidents;
  • three were accidentally shot;
  • two officers drowned;
  • one died in an aircraft accident; and
  • one officer died in another type of duty-related accident.

Use of seatbelts was reported for 21 of the 26 officers killed in automobile accidents. Of these 21 officers, 10 were wearing seatbelts, and 11 were not wearing seatbelts at the times of the accidents. Of the 11 victim officers who were fatally injured in automobile accidents and were not wearing seatbelts, two were seated in parked motor vehicles at the times of the accidents.

"Every law enforcement officer goes to work knowing that today might be his or her last. But last year, we saw a staggering 61 percent increase in the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty because of a felony, and on average, more than 150 officers were assaulted in the line of duty every single day. These numbers are as shocking as they are unacceptable,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

“Our law enforcement deserves the support of the people they serve. Fortunately we have a President who understands this. President Trump ran for office as a law-and-order candidate; now he is governing as a law-and-order President.”

You can find the full report here.

 

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