Number of cops killed in line of duty up in 2010
YARMOUTH, Maine—The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2010 increased nearly 17 percent from the year before, according to a report the FBI released this week. But the figure has dropped 20 percent since a decade ago.
In 2010, 56 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty, compared to 48 officers in 2009 and 70 officers in 2001 (this number does not include the 72 officers killed on 9/11), according to the FBI's 2010 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. The deaths occurred in 22 states and Puerto Rico, and were most likely to occur in cities with more than 250,000 residents.
The report also includes information about the 72 officers who died in accidents and the 53,469 officers who were assaulted in the line of duty in 2010.
Of those feloniously killed, the average officer was 38 years old and had served in law enforcement for 10 years, according to the report. Two of the officers were female.
The majority of the officers (32) were members of municipal police forces, while 15 worked for county agencies and five worked for state agencies. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security employed one of the officers killed in the line of duty.
The most common cause of death was by ambush (15), followed by being killed during an arrest situation (14), while investigating suspicious persons/circumstance (8), and during traffic stops or pursuits (7), among others.
Criminals used firearms to kill 55 of the 56 officers, including 38 who were wearing body armor at the time. The most common weapon used was a handgun, accounting for 38 deaths, followed by rifles (15) and shotguns (2).
For much more in-depth data, view the report.