The number of on-duty law enforcement officers were killed in serious crimes dropped to 48 last year from 55 the previous year, the FBI reported today. The total was the lowest of any year in the last decade except for 1999, when 42 were killed. Another 66 officers died in accidents, compared with 67 in 2005, and 58,634 were assaulted on duty, compared with 57,546 the previous year.
In a breakdown of the circumstances of officers feloniously killed in the last decade, the FBI said that nearly 24 percent died in arrest situations, 19 percent in ambushes, and more than 17 percent each in disturbance calls and traffic stops. Of officers killed feloniously last year, handguns were used in 36 of 48 cases.