- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 13, 2003

A total of 56 law-enforcement officers nationwide were slain in the line of duty during 2002, according to preliminary statistics released yesterday by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.

Another 76 officers were accidentally killed on duty last year, the FBI said.

The UCR report the states that of the 56 deliberate killings, 25 were in the South, 12 in the Midwest, nine in the West and five in the Northeast. Another five officers also were killed in Puerto Rico.

By circumstance, the report said, 14 officers were slain in ambush situations; another 10 were murdered answering disturbance calls, 10 during traffic pursuits and stops, 10 during arrest situations and eight while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances. Four officers were slain by assailants said to be mentally deranged.

Firearms were used in 51 of the 56 murders, the report said. Handguns were used in 38 cases, rifles in nine, and shotguns in four. Four victim officers were slain with vehicles and one with a knife.

At the time they were slain, the report said, 35 of the victim officers were wearing body armor. Twelve fired their weapons during the fatal incidents and 10 attempted to do so. Eight of the officers’ weapons were stolen and four of the victim officers were slain with their own weapon.

The 56 victim officers were slain in 53 separate incidents. In 48 of the incidents, the assailant was arrested or killed.

FBI officials said that detailing the nature of the incidents generates a reliable set of figures for law enforcement and others to use for research and designated planning purposes.

The final statistical package with complete details will be available in the fall release of the UCR program’s publication: “Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2002.


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