Last year, 41 U.S. law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty, 17 fewer than the previous year, the FBI reported today; 68 officers died in accidents while performing their duties; and 58,792 officers were assaulted while on duty, down from 59,201. The 41 felonious line-of-duty deaths took place during 38 incidents in 19 states.
Of the 68 law enforcement officers killed in accidents while performing their duties in 2008, 39 deaths were the result of automobile accidents. The number of accidental line-of-duty deaths was down 15 from 2007. Three more officers were accidentally killed in 2008 than in 1999, when 65 officers died in accidents. Of the officers assaulted last year, 26.1 percent were injured. The largest percentage of victim officers (32.0) were assaulted while responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.). Assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 80.7 percent of the incidents, firearms in 3.8 percent of incidents, and knives or other cutting instruments in 1.6 percent of the incidents.