FBI: 118 Law Enforcement Officers Died in Line of Duty in 2016; 57,180 Assaulted

By Susan Jones | October 16, 2017 | 11:44 AM EDT

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(CNSNews.com) - 118 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty last year in the United States, the FBI reported on Monday.

That was up 37 percent from the 86 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2015.

In 2016, 66 of the 118 deaths of law enforcement officers were felonious and 52 were accidental. In 2015, 41 of the 86 deaths of law enforcement officers were felonious and 45 were accidental.

Another 57,180 officers were assaulted in the line of duty in 2016, and  16,535 (or about 29 percent) sustained injuries from that assault.

"All of these numbers increased from figures reported in 2015, when 45 officers died accidentally and 41 were feloniously killed in the line of duty," the FBI said. A total of 50,212 assaults were reported in 2015.

Of the 66 officers killed by criminal acts in 2016:

--62 of the 66 were killed by firearms;

--51 were wearing body armor at the time they were killed;

-- 4 were killed intentionally with vehicles;

-- 17 were killed in ambushes, 13 were killed answering disturbance calls, and 9 were killed investigating suspicious people or circumstances.

Of the 52 officers who were killed in accidents in 2016, 26 were killed in auto accidents, 12 were struck by vehicles, and 7 died in motorcycles accidents.

In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the increase unacceptable:

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 (66 killed feloniously, up from 41 in 2015), 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.

Sessions said the Trump Justice Department is focused on the president's goal of reducing violent crime and is united with local, state, and federal law enforcement in a shared mission to protect law-abiding people in every community."

Through its Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the FBI collects data about the circumstances surrounding assaults against law enforcement and officer deaths. The data is collected from campus, local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as FBI field offices and non-profit organizations that track line-of-duty deaths.

The FBI data is used in officer safety training.

The full report can be found here.


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