- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2002

The FBI yesterday said 142 law enforcement officers were killed nationwide last year in the line of duty, including 72 who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks and five officers slain in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

The 70 deaths not associated with the terrorist attacks represent a 37 percent increase over 2000, when 51 officers were killed while on duty.

In a report released yesterday, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) said 105 of the slain officers worked for city police departments, 24 for county police and sheriff's offices, and three for state agencies. Four others were employed by federal agencies and six served with police in Puerto Rico.

Of those killed at the World Trade Center, 37 were from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, 23 from the New York City Police Department and five from the New York Office of Tax Enforcement.

One New York City Fire Department fire marshal, one U.S. Secret Service agent, one FBI agent and three officers from the State of New York Unified Court System also perished in the trade center. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer died in the crash of a hijacked plane in Pennsylvania.

The slain Maryland, Virginia and District officers were:

• Norfolk Police Department Officer James B. Gilbert, killed Sept. 28, 2001, by a mentally deranged man who threatened to commit suicide. The 28-year-old officer was shot in the head after ordering the man to drop a .45-caliber handgun. The man was fatally wounded by Officer Gilbert's partner.

•Metro Transit Police Officer Marlon F. Morales, shot June 10, 2001, in an unprovoked attack while questioning a man in a fare dispute at a Metro station. When Officer Morales told the man to pay the fare, the 32-year-old officer was shot at close range in the head with a 9 mm handgun and died from his wound three days later.

•Baltimore Police Department Officer Michael Joseph Cowdery Jr., 31, killed March 12, 2001, in an ambush while conducting interviews as part of a crime-reduction initiative. The officer was wounded in the leg and then shot in the head by a .357-caliber handgun as he laid on the ground.

•Queen Anne's County, Md., Sheriff's Deputy Jason C. Schwenz, 28, and Centreville, Md., Police Department Officer Michael Nickerson, 25, shot Feb. 13, 2001, with a shotgun after responding to a noise complaint in a Centreville trailer park. Deputy Schwenz died at the scene. Officer Nickerson died later during surgery.

The UCR report said 56,666 police officers also were assaulted during 2001, more than 155 a day, with 30 percent receiving serious injuries.

Of the 142 slain officers, the FBI said 80 including the 72 killed on September 11 were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances at the time of their deaths.

Twenty-four were killed during arrest situations; 14 were killed while answering disturbance calls; 10 died in ambushes; nine were murdered in traffic pursuits or stops; three were slain by mentally deranged persons; and two were killed while handling or transporting prisoners.

By region, the report said, 29 of the 70 officers were killed in the South, 18 in the West, 14 in the Midwest and three in the Northeast. Six of the officers were slain in Puerto Rico.

Sixty-one officers were killed in firearms-related incidents, the report said, noting that handguns were used in 46 of the murders, rifles in 11 and shotguns in four.

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