Seventy-two law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2011, about a 29 percent increase over 2010. Another 53 officers died in accidents while performing their duties according to an FBI report, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.
The number of officers feloniously killed in 2011 increased by 16. There were 56 officers killed in 2010. The numbers is also up substantially from the 58 officers killed in 2007 and 56 killed in 2002. The 72 felonious deaths occurred in 30 states and Puerto Rico.
The 72 officers killed in 2011 were killed in the following situations, 23 were killed during arrests, 15 were ambushed, 11 were involved in performing traffic pursuits/stops, nine were involved in tactical situations, and seven were answering disturbance calls. Five of the slain officers were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances; one was conducting an investigative activity, such as surveillance, searches, or interviews; and one officer was killed while transporting or maintaining the custody of prisoners.
Offenders used firearms to kill 63 of the 72 victim officers. Of these 63 officers, 50 were slain with handguns, seven with rifles, and six with shotguns. Six officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons. Two victim officers were killed with personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.). One officer was killed with a knife or other cutting instrument.
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