The Dangerous and Deadly Job of Policing America

2016 has been a landmark year for bringing police-involved violence to the forefront of American public discourse. Much attention has been paid to officer-involved shootings and the controversy surrounding them. This hot topic has often overshadowed the violent acts perpetrated against law enforcement officers around the nation while bravely conducting their daily duties and serving the people in their respective communities.

The Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed & Assaulted website provides detailed figures for officers assaulted, injured, and killed throughout 2015. The statistics cover college and university, city, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers; and are broken down into various categories including weapons used, time and date, demographics of officers and assailants, as well as details of the injuries inflicted.

There were nearly as many officers feloniously killed (41) as were accidentally killed (45) in 2015. The officers were  killed in the line of duty in 21 states, with an average of 40 years and average career of 12 years. These tragic numbers, while too high, stand in stark contrast to the 50,212 officers assaulted in the line of duty, resulting in over 14,000 injuries.

For more information see the LEOKA (Law Enforcement Officers Killed & Assaulted) website where you can also download the full data set in a compressed file.