Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 2021 Statistics

Every year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) releases statistics on law enforcement officer deaths in their Crime Data Explorer (CDE) database under the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) section.

In a May 9, 2022 press release, the FBI National Press Office summarizes some of the key data released for 2021.  Officer deaths due to “felonious acts” have increased significantly (59%) when compared to officer deaths in 2020.  The increase is very similar when compared to data from five years ago (2017) and ten years ago (2012) as well. The press release describes the profiles of the officers, the circumstances around their deaths, the weapons used, and the regions where the acts occurred.  The press release also reveals information on accidental deaths of officers. Further data regarding officers assaulted, not necessarily leading to death, will be released in the fall of 2022.

The LEOKA section of the CDE also provides real-time monthly stats as they come in for the current year in a brief summary under the “Latest Preliminary Statistics” section and in a monthly infographic that gives comparisons across years.  The annual reports from which the press release obtained data can be downloaded here.


For more information, visit the HSDL Research Tools for Statistics on Law Enforcement or search the library for related articles. Please note: An HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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