Fewer officers killed in 2015, FBI report shows

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(Photo: FBI)

A new report released Tuesday by the FBI shows that fewer officers were killed in 2015 compared to the year before, but that downward trend is ticking back up in 2016.

According to the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, 86 officers were killed in the line-of-duty in 2015. That’s 10 less than the year before.

Next year’s LEOKA report will show a different story though, according to Christopher Nicholas, a section chief at the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. In a weekly FBI podcast, Nicholas detailed this year’s numbers.

“So far in 2016, the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty is the same number, total, as it was in 2015,” he said. “Moreover, the number of law enforcement officers killed feloniously is up six deaths year to date. We saw it a few months ago.”

Forty-one officers were killed feloniously in criminal acts last year in the United States, 10 less than in 2014, according to the 2015 LEOKA report.

There were another 45 accidental deaths among police officers in 2015, the same as in 2014. And there were 50,212 line-of-duty assaults in 2015.

Of the 41 officers killed feloniously in 2015, 38 of them were killed with guns. The other three were killed with vehicles used as weapons.

Most of the felonious deaths, 19 of them, occurred in the south; nine happened in the West; five in the Midwest; four in the Northeast; and four in Puerto Rico.

Of the 45 officers killed accidentally, 29 of them were killed in car accidents. Others died in accidental shootings, an aircraft accident, and a fall.

Of the 50,212 officers assaulted in 2015, 28.4 percent of them were injured. Most of the assaults on officers happened during disturbance calls. Assailants used hands, fists, and feet in 79 percent of the incidents and guns in 4 percent of the incidents. Knives were used in 1.8 percent of the incidents. Other dangerous weapons were used in the remaining incidents.

Additionally, 1,336 federal law enforcement officers were assaulted in 2015. One of them was killed, and 172 others were reported injured.