The FBI publishes Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted each year to provide information about officers who were killed, feloniously or accidentally, and officers who were assaulted while performing their duties. The FBI collects these data through the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
When reviewing the tables, charts, and summaries presented in this publication, readers should be aware of certain features of the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data collection process that could affect their interpretation of the information.
- The data in the tables and charts reflect the number of victim officers, not the number of incidents or weapons used.
- The UCR Program considers any parts of the body that can be used as weapons (such as hands, fists, or feet) to be personal weapons and designates them as such in its data.
- Law enforcement agencies use a different methodology for collecting and reporting data about officers who were killed than the methodology used for those who were assaulted. As a result, information about officers killed and information about officers assaulted reside in two separate databases, and the data are not comparable.
- Because the information in the tables of this publication is updated each year, the FBI cautions readers against making comparisons between the data in this publication and those in prior editions.
Beginning in 1937, the FBI’s UCR Program collected and published statistics on law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in its annual publication, Crime in the United States. Statistics regarding assaults on officers were added in 1960. In June 1971, executives from the law enforcement conference, “Prevention of Police Killings,” called for an increase in the FBI’s involvement in preventing and investigating officers’ deaths. In response to this directive, the UCR Program expanded its collection of data to include more details about the incidents in which law enforcement officers were killed and assaulted.
Using this comprehensive set of data, the FBI began in 1972 to produce two reports annually, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed Summary and the Analysis of Assaults on Federal Officers. These two reports were combined in 1982 to create the annual publication, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.
Based on more than 40 years of research and data collection, the LEOKA Program provides free Officer Safety Awareness Training (OSAT) to city, university and college, county, state, tribal, federal, and international law enforcement agencies. The goal of the LEOKA Program’s OSAT course is to provide relevant, high quality, potentially lifesaving information to law enforcement agencies focusing on “why” an incident occurred, as opposed to “what” occurred during the incident. (Tactical issues are not part of the training.) To request an OSAT course in your area, e-mail the training staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publishing on the Web
For several years, the FBI’s UCR staff worked toward the goal of publishing all of its reports solely to the Internet, which removes many of the limitations of hard copy books without losing the value of the information being provided. Beginning with the 2005 edition, the FBI began producing Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted exclusively as a Web publication. That report, along with the subsequent publications, contains all the information that was published in previous years’ hard copy reports but with the benefits of navigable files and downloadable information.
The FBI has released the following eBooks concerning law enforcement officers killed or assaulted and injured in the line of duty:
- Narrative Summaries of Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed, 2002-2006
- Narrative Summaries of Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed, 2007-2011
- Narrative Summaries of Law Enforcement Officers
- Feloniously Killed, 2012-2015
- Assaulted and Injured with Firearms or Knives/Other Cutting Instruments (Selected Incidents), 2013-2015
The objective of these products is to offer LEOKA information in a portable, convenient format (.epub) that can be used on mobile devices (e.g., tablets, smartphones, etc.) by law enforcement researchers, trainers, and other partners. The most recent eBook includes summaries from the past three years of data. All three products are available to download on the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2015, home page.