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FBI: Officer Slayings Up 17 Percent Last Year

The Washington Examiner via YellowBrix

May 11, 2010

WASHINGTON—Forty-eight US police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2009, a 17 percent increase from the previous years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported Monday.

The number of those killed in ambushes more than doubled last year, rising from six in 2008 to 15 last year, the FBI’s preliminary data show.

Nine officers died last year while arresting suspects; eight were killed while handling traffic pursuits or stops; five died responding to disturbance calls; four while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances; and four during tactical situations such as a hostage-taking.

Two more died while handling and transporting prisoners, and one while handling a person with a mental illness, the data show.

Firearms were used in the overwhelming majority of the slayings, with 45 police officers gunned down with either a handgun (28 victims), a rifle (15) or a shotgun, the weapon used to kill two of the officers.

Three officers were killed with vehicles.

At the time they were killed, 35 officers were wearing body armor.

In geographic terms, 21 of the victims were killed in the south, the most populous region of the United States, which for the FBI report starts in Delaware and includes Washington DC.

Thirteen were slain in the west, seven in the northeast, five in the midwest and two in Puerto Rico.

In addition to the officers who were feloniously killed, 47 law enforcement officers were accidentally killed in 2009 — 21 fewer than the previous year.

Final statistics on the number of police officers killed in the United States in 2009 will be released in the autumn.

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