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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 2017 and who met certain other criteria.

Overview 

  • In 2017, the FBI collected assault data from 12,198 law enforcement agencies that employed 596,604 officers. These officers provided service to more than 269.6 million people, or 82.8 percent of the nation’s population. (See Table 80.)
  • Law enforcement agencies reported that 60,211 officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2017. (See Table 80.)
  • The rate of officer assaults in 2017 was 10.1 per 100 sworn officers. (See Table 80.)

Injuries

  • Of the 60,211 officers who were assaulted, 17,476 (29.0 percent) sustained injuries. (Based on Table 80.)
  • 32.0 percent of the officers who were attacked with personal weapons (e.g., hands, fists, or feet) suffered injuries. (See Table 85.)
  • 14.1 percent of the officers who were assaulted with knives or other cutting instruments were injured. (See Table 85.)
  • 10.2 percent of officers who were attacked with firearms were injured. (See Table 85.)
  • 22.0 percent of officers who were attacked with other dangerous weapons were injured. (See Table 85.)

Times of incidents

  • The largest percentage of assaults on officers (12.4 percent) happened from 12:01 a.m. to 2 a.m. (See Table 82.)
  • 12.3 percent of assaults on officers occurred from both 8:01 p.m. to 10 p.m. and from 10:01 p.m. to midnight. (See Table 82.)
  • The smallest percentage of assaults on officers (3.2 percent) occurred between 6:01 a.m. and 8 a.m. (See Table 82.)

Circumstances

Of all officers who were assaulted in 2017:

  • 30.4 percent were responding to disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.). (Based on Table 83.)
  • 15.8 percent were attempting other arrests. (Based on Table 83.)
  • 12.4 percent were handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners. (Based on Table 83.)

Clearances

Law enforcement agencies may 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 2017, law enforcement agencies cleared 86.7 percent of the 60,211 reported assaults on law enforcement officers. (See Table 83.)
  • By type of circumstance, agencies cleared the greatest percentage of assaults (90.4 percent) on officers who were attempting other arrests. (See Table 83.)
  • Agencies reported that they cleared 88.3 percent of the 18,329 assaults on officers who were responding to disturbance calls. (See Table 83.)

Assignments

  • 61.4 percent of the officers who were assaulted were assigned to 1-officer vehicle patrols. (Based on Table 84.)
  • 18.0 percent of the officers who were assaulted were assigned to 2-officer vehicle patrols. (See Table 84.)
  • 3.8 percent of officers who were assaulted were assigned to detective duties or special assignments. (Based on Table 84.)
  • 16.8 percent of officers were assigned to other duties when they were assaulted in the line of duty. (Based on Table 84.)

Weapons

  • In 2017, 76.8 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 85.)
  • 4.4 percent of the officers were assaulted with firearms. (Based on Table 85.)
  • 1.8 percent of the officers were assaulted with knives or other cutting instruments. (Based on Table 85.)
  • 17.0 percent of the officers were assaulted with other dangerous weapons. (Based on Table 85.)

Information about officers assaulted can be found in Tables 80-88. Specific information about officers assaulted and injured with firearms or knives/other cutting instruments will be available in fall 2018 on the Detailed Assault Data page and in Tables 89-133.