54 Law Officers Killed In Line Of Duty In 2004
Fifty-four law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2004, according to preliminary statistics released by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
Nearly half of the officers killed, 26, were in the South; 9 officers were in the Midwest; 9 were in the West; and 7 were in the Northeast. Two were in Puerto Rico, and 1 was in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The number of officers killed was up 2 from the 52 officers killed in 2003.
The 54 officer deaths occurred during 47 different incidents. Police cleared 46 out of the 47 incidents by arrest or exceptional means. One offender is still at large.
Of the officers killed, 16 died in arrest situations, 12 died responding to disturbance calls, 7 died investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, 6 were ambushed, and 6 more were killed in traffic pursuits or stops. Two officers were killed while handling mentally deranged persons, 2 died while involved in investigative activities, 2 died in tactical situations, and 1 died handling and transporting a prisoner.
As in previous years, most offenders used firearms to kill police officers in 2004. Of the 52 officers who died from gunshot wounds, 36 were fatally injured with handguns, 12 were shot with rifles, and 4 were killed with shotguns.
Offenders used vehicles to kill 2 officers. Thirty-two officers were wearing body armor, 11 fired their own weapons, and 9 attempted to fire their own weapons. Seven of the officers had their service weapons stolen, and 6 were killed with their own weapons.
In addition to the officers feloniously killed, 82 law enforcement officers died accidentally in the performance of their duties in 2004. This is an increase of 1 over the 2003 total of 81 officers killed accidentally.
The UCR Program’s publication, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2004, is scheduled to be released in the fall. The publication, produced annually, includes final statistics and complete details.