- The Washington Times - Friday, December 21, 2001

Police officers nationwide were targets of workplace violence more often than people in any other profession between 1993 and 1999, followed by corrections officers, taxicab drivers and bartenders, the Justice Department reported yesterday.

According to a lengthy study by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, high school teachers, nurses and college professors suffered the fewest incidents of workplace violence during that same seven-year period the most recent statistics available.

The study said U.S. residents overall suffered an annual average of 1.7 million nonfatal violent workplace incidents between 1993 and 1999, along with 900 workplace-related homicides annually during those same years.

Workplace violence accounted for 18 percent of all violent crime during the seven-year period, the study said.

Of the occupations examined, police officers experienced violent incidents on the job at the highest rate, more than 260 per 1,000 police officers, while college or university professors and teachers had the lowest rate, 1.6 incidents per every 1,000 teachers.

Government employees, the study said, had violent victimization rates 28.6 per 1,000 government workers that were higher than those who worked for private companies, 9.9 per 1,000 workers, or self-employed people, 7.4 per 1,000.

The study said that the nonfatal workplace crime rate declined 44 percent from 1993 through 1999, and the number of workplace homicides fell 39 percent during the same period.

White workers experienced workplace victimization at a rate 25 percent higher than blacks and 59 percent higher than for other races. About 60 percent of workplace violence against whites and blacks was committed by offenders of the same race as the victim.

The study said almost one in eight victimized workers were injured during the acts of violence, about one in nine faced multiple offenders and about four in 10 had prior relationships with the offenders. In about 11 percent of the workplace homicides, the offender was a co-worker, former co-worker or a customer.

About three-quarters of all workplace violence was committed by unarmed offenders, but more than 80 percent of the workplace homicides were committed with firearms, said the study, which is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov-/bjs/abstract/vw99.htm.

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