- The Washington Times - Monday, October 30, 2006

Fifty-five law-enforcement officers nationwide were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2005, two fewer than in 2004, the FBI said yesterday.

Three officers were killed in Virginia and one in Maryland.

A report by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program said the majority of the slain officers worked for city or county police agencies. California and Mississippi led the nation, each losing six officers.

In addition, 67 officers were accidentally killed on duty last year, compared with 82 in 2004. And 57,546 police officers at 10,032 agencies were assaulted while on the job in 2005, compared with 59,373 in 2004 — the lowest total since 2001.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the slain officers averaged 37 years in age and had been with their departments an average of 10 years. Fifty-four were men.

According to the report, 15 officers were feloniously killed during traffic pursuits or stops, eight during arrest situations and eight in ambushes. Fifty were killed with firearms, and 30 of them had been wearing body armor when they were fatally wounded.

Mr. Kolko said all 57 of those arrested in the killings were male, with an average age of 30, and nearly all had a criminal record.

In Maryland, Prince George’s County Police Cpl. Steven F. Gaughan, 41, was fatally shot June 21, 2005, when he and two other detectives stopped a suspicious vehicle in Laurel. Cpl. Gaughan, a 14-year veteran who was promoted to sergeant posthumously, was shot multiple times with a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

Robert M. Billett, 44, of Bladensburg, was convicted April 3 of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In Virginia, the three officers who were feloniously killed in the line of duty were:

• U.S. Pentagon police Officer James M. Feltis III, 41, who died Feb. 14, 2005, from injuries sustained a month earlier after being struck by a stolen vehicle being pursued by Alexandria police. He had rendered 12 years of service.

In September, Ossie K. La-Rode, 23, was sentenced to 31 years and 10 months in prison.

On Feb. 8, 2005, Officer Feltis was awarded the Defense Department’s Medal of Valor at a hospital bedside ceremony.

• Chesapeake Police Department Officer Michael K. Saffran, 45, was fatally shot Oct. 8, 2005, while assisting other officers during a bank robbery. He had served on the force for two years after a 20-year career with the U.S. Navy.

Officer Saffran was following a vehicle leaving the area with the robber and three hostages when it crashed and the robber pulled one hostage from the car, placing a revolver to his head. The hostage broke free and a gunfight ensured, during which Officer Saffran was mortally wounded.

Larry D. Blount, 43, was shot by Officer Saffran and the other officers and died at the scene.

c Norfolk Police Department Officer Stanley C. Reaves, 33, was fatally shot Oct. 28, 2005, while responding to a complaint of a man with a gun. Officer Reaves, who had served for 11 years, was attempting to question the man when he was shot at close range in the front of the head. Officer Reaves had been wearing body armor at the time.

Thomas Alexander Porter, 30, was found in White Plains, N.Y., and faced charges of capital murder.

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