Each year, as part of its Uniform Crime Reports Program, the FBI publishes the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report. The report for the calendar year 2012 was made available on the FBI’s website on Monday. Back issues of the report are available for 1996 and on.
The report is based on information submitted by 11,759 law enforcement agencies in the United States. Those agencies employ 520,047 officers and serve 78.9 percent of the nation’s population, 247 million persons.
In total, 52,901 officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2012. This was a rate of 10.2 per 100 sworn officers. So, in round figures, one out of 10 US law enforcement officers was assaulted in the line of duty during 2012.
In 2012, the most common type of assault was with personal weapons (e.g., hands, fists, or feet) at 80.2 percent. Next on the list, with 13.9 percent, were other dangerous weapons. Firearms were used against officer in 4.3 percent of assaults. And, 1.7 percent of assaults on officers were committed with knives or other cutting instruments.
The injury rate to officers who were assaulted was 27.7 percent. Personal weapons caused the most injuries with 29.7 percent of officers who were attacked suffering injuries. Other dangerous weapons had an injury rate of 23.9 percent to officers attacked. Interestingly, knives were more likely to cause injury (13.2 percent) than firearms (9.8 percent).
Responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.) was the most common way of being injured resulting in 32.5 percent of total injuries. Attempting other arrests was the cause of 15.2 percent of officer injuries. And, handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners resulted in 13.6 percent of the injuries.
A somber component of LEOKA is the Summaries of Officers Feloniously Killed. This section provides a written account of each incident in which a law enforcement officer was killed in 2012. The Summaries are mandatory reading for those who are truly interested in the topic of officer survival.
An excellent addition this year is a downloadable eBook that has all the Summaries for the previous five years, 2007-2011. It is available in epub format, which can be used in many readers or easily converted for those with a Kindle.
Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted is a valuable resource for those officers who are serious about knowing the dangers they face. It is also useful information for those of us whom they protect.