Fifty-one law enforcement officers in the U.S. died as a result of felonious acts last year, the FBI reported today. In addition, 48,315 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults. The number killed as a result of criminal acts increased by 24 compared with 2013, but the 2013 total was unusually low, and a comparison with 5- and 10-year data show a decrease of five felonious deaths compared with the 2010 figure of 56 officers killed and a decrease if four deaths compared with 2005 total of 55. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund also tracks killings of law enforcement officers. The organization uses different classifications from the FBI’s, but as of today, the number of “firearms-related” officer deaths was down 18 percent from last year, 31 so far compared with 38 in 2014.
The FBI’s assault total was down from 2013 when there were 49,851. The data may allay concerns of more violent anti-police actions after widely publicized killings of citizens by police officers. In the FBI report for last year, of the 51 officers feloniously killed, 11 were answering disturbance calls, nine were conducting traffic pursuits/stops, seven were ambushed, seven were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, five were conducting investigative activities (such as surveillances, searches, or interviews), four were killed in arrest situations, four were involved in tactical situations, and three were handling persons with mental illnesses. One officer was killed in an unprovoked attack. The annual report includes comprehensive data tables about the incidents, brief narratives describing the fatal attacks, and narratives on selected assaults resulting in injury.