2001 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted i (2001)

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                                         FOREWORD



T he year 2001 will always be remembered as the year terrorists turned commercial airliners into murder
    weapons and used them to kill 3,047 innocent people. Counted within that number are 72 local, state, and
federal law enforcement officers, the most officers ever lost in a single day. Seventy officers were feloniously
killed during 2001 in incidents not related to the events of September 11, and 78 officers died in duty-related
accidents. Data submitted to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program indicate that 56,666 law officers were
assaulted during the year and, of those, 16,202 received injuries.
        As documented in this report, police work is a hazardous occupation. The current edition of Law
Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted contains 50 statistical tables that aggregate data on officers
feloniously killed, accidentally killed, or assaulted in the line of duty. The tables organize the relevant details
of the incidents so they form an index to the most dangerous aspects of police work, enabling law enforcement
to study and learn from them. The book also contains a narrative summary of each incident in which a
law enforcement officer was feloniously killed. The accounts of the events that led to the officers' deaths
are straightforward reports provided by the victims' agencies. Nevertheless, they form a series of eloquent
testimonials to each officer's dedication to public service. They also serve as a reminder that every law officer
every day runs a risk of becoming the victim of a sociopathic or deranged individual.
        Because a catastrophe such as the September 11 attacks falls far outside the normal course of police
experience, the FBI has not included those fatalities in the 2001 rate, trend, or disposition tables for to do so
would skew the data and render analyses meaningless. However, the deaths of those officers are chronicled in
Section I, Summaries of Felonious Incidents.
        The entire world was shocked on September 11 when airliners were used as murder weapons. Perhaps
less astounding but no less appalling are the seven incidents in which killers used automobiles to murder law
enforcement officers. Of these seven incidents, three officers were dragged to death by fast-moving vehicles,
two others were intentionally run over, and two officers died when their patrol vehicles were deliberately
rammed by speeding automobiles.
        When officers are killed in the line of duty, there may be a tendency to assume that they died while
intervening in felonies, transporting prisoners, or engaging in other police duties that involve them with clearly
antagonistic individuals. However, during 2001, at least nine of the victim officers were coming to the aid of
persons whom they perceived to be in danger (e.g., from a mentally unstable family member). Three others
were intervening to stop an assault. Ten officers were victims of violent attacks that were as unexpected as
they were unprovoked. In three of these instances, the unsuspecting officer walked into an ambush situation;
in seven others, the officer was gunned down for no apparent reason, perhaps just for being a law officer.
        Law enforcement is a high-risk occupation. The men and women who serve the public in this way
place themselves in danger as a matter of routine. The FBI hopes that this annual accounting of officers killed
or assaulted in the line of duty may serve as a tool for law enforcement administrators, police trainers, and
others who are committed to improving officer safety.

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