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Officers Assaulted

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The following information concerns duly sworn city, university and college, county, state, and tribal law enforcement officers who were assaulted in the line of duty in 2016 and who met certain other criteria.

Overview

In 2016, the FBI collected assault data from 12,421 law enforcement agencies that employed 586,446 officers. These officers provided service to more than 268.2 million persons, or 83.0 percent of the nation’s population. (See Table 70.)

  • Law enforcement agencies reported that 57,180 officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2016. (See Table 70.) 
  • The rate of officer assaults in 2016 was 9.8 per 100 sworn officers. (See Table 70.) 

Injuries

  • Of the 57,180 officers who were assaulted, 16,535 (28.9 percent) sustained injuries. (Based on Table 70.) 
  • 31.4 percent of the officers who were attacked with personal weapons (e.g., hands, fists, or feet) suffered injuries. (See Table 75.) 
  • 11.9 percent of officers who were attacked with firearms were injured. (See Table 75.) 
  • 10.8 percent of the officers who were assaulted with knives or other cutting instruments were injured. (See Table 75.) 
  • 23.3 percent of officers who were attacked with other dangerous weapons were injured. (See Table 75.) 

Times of incidents

  • For the tenth consecutive year, the largest percentage of assaults on officers (13.2 percent) happened from 12:01 a.m. to 2 a.m. (See Table 72.) 
  • The smallest percentage of assaults on officers (3.1 percent) occurred between 6:01 a.m. and 8 a.m. (See Table 72.) 

Circumstances

Of all officers who were assaulted in 2016:

  • 32.2 percent were responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.). (Based on Table 73.) 
  • 15.6 percent were attempting other arrests. (Based on Table 73.) 
  • 12.6 percent were handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners. (Based on Table 73.) 

Clearances

Law enforcement agencies can clear offenses by arrest or exceptional means (i.e., when they can identify the perpetrator but are unable to make an arrest due to circumstances beyond their control, such as the death or suicide of the subject).

  • In 2016, law enforcement agencies cleared 88.5 percent of the 57,180 reported assaults on law enforcement officers. (See Table 73.) 
  • By type of circumstance, agencies cleared the greatest percentage of assaults (91.0 percent) on officers who were attempting other arrests. (See Table 73.) 
  • Agencies reported that they cleared 90.2 percent of the 18,425 assaults on officers who were responding to disturbance calls. (See Table 73.) 

Assignments

  • 62.6 percent of the officers who were assaulted were assigned to 1-officer vehicle patrols. (Based on Table 74.) 
  • 17.9 percent of the officers who were assaulted were assigned to 2-officer vehicle patrols. (See Table 74.) 
  • 3.6 percent of officers who were assaulted were assigned to detective duties or special assignments. (Based on Table 74.) 
  • 15.8 percent of officers were assigned to other duties when they were assaulted in the line of duty. (Based on Table 74.) 

Weapons

  • In 2016, 78.0 percent of officers who were assaulted in the line of duty were attacked with personal weapons (e.g., hands, fists, or feet). (Based on Table 75.) 
  • 4.2 percent of the officers were assaulted with firearms. (Based on Table 75.) 
  • 1.9 percent of the officers were assaulted with knives or other cutting instruments. (Based on Table 75.) 
  • 16.0 percent of the officers were assaulted with other dangerous weapons. (Based on Table 75.) 

Information about officers assaulted can be found in Tables 70-78. Specific information about officers assaulted and injured with firearms or knives/other cutting instruments can be found on the Detailed Assault Data page and in Tables 79-122.