- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 27, 2001

The FBI yesterday said 51 law enforcement officers nationwide were murdered last year in the line of duty, nine more than during 1999 although the number is nearly 30 percent less than the number of officers slain in 1991.
According to a report by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) division, firearms were used most often in the murders of the nation's law enforcement officers used in 47 of the 51 officer deaths. Handguns, one of which was the officer's own service weapon, were used in 33 of the murders. Rifles were used in 10 of the killings, and shotguns were employed in the other four.
Twenty-nine of the 47 officers slain with firearms were wearing body armor when they were killed.
The number of officers killed accidentally rose in 2000, with 84 officers dying that year while performing official duties, compared with 65 accidental deaths reported in 1999.
The UCR report said 13 of the 51 were killed during traffic stops or pursuits; 12 officers were slain during arrest situations; five were killed trying to apprehend suspects of crimes, three were investigating drug-related situations, two were attempting to arrest robbery suspects, and two officers were attempting to apprehend burglary suspects.
Ten officers, according to the report, were murdered in ambush situations, eight were killed while responding to disturbance calls, and six officers were murdered while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances. Two victims were killed while handling or transporting prisoners.
The FBI said 27 of the 51 slain officers were employed by city police departments, 21 by county police and sheriff's offices, and three by state agencies. No federal officers were feloniously killed in 2000.
The average age of the slain officers was 38. Fifty of the officers who lost their lives were male, and one was female. Thirty-nine of the victim officers were white, and 11 were black. Race information was not reported for one of the victims.
A regional breakdown of the 2000 data shows that 32 officers were murdered in the Southern region of the United States, 13 in the Midwest, four in the West and two in Puerto Rico. No officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in the Northeastern region in 2000.
Texas led the nation with 10 murders of police officers, followed by Georgia with six and Louisiana and Maryland with three each.
Sixty-five suspects were identified in connection with the 51 deaths during the year. Of these suspects, 51 have been arrested by law enforcement agencies. Nine of the suspects were killed three by the victim officers and six by other persons. Five assailants committed suicide after murdering the officers.
Among the accidental deaths, automobile, motorcycle, and aircraft accidents claimed the lives of 55 of the 84 officers. Fourteen officers were accidentally struck by vehicles, 12 were killed in other types of accidents (drowning, training accidents, etc.), and three were the victims of accidental shootings.
California had the most officers accidentally killed with nine, followed by Tennessee with six and Maryland with five.
Data reported by 8,653 law-enforcement agencies covering more than 71 percent of the total population of the United States show that a total of 56,054 line-of-duty assaults were committed against law-enforcement officers in 2000. Of those assaults, 81.7 percent were committed with personal weapons such as hands, fists and feet, and 29.3 percent of these incidents resulted in injury.
Firearms were used in 3 percent of the assaults, and injuries resulted in 12.3 percent of these incidents. Knives or cutting instruments were used in 1.8 percent of assaults with 17.1 percent of the victim officers sustaining injuries. Other dangerous weapons were used in 13.5 percent of the assaults on law-enforcement officers, and 27.9 percent of these officers were injured.


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