Line-of-duty deaths among policer officers dropped 18% in 2022, while the number of officer homicides that year increased, according to FBI statistics released on May 8.
In 2022, a total of 118 police officers lost their lives while on duty. Of those, 60 deaths were attributed to felonious acts, while 58 were the result of accidents. Comparatively, 73 officers lost their lives due to criminal acts in 2021.
Although the overall number of officer fatalities decreased, the 60 officers killed by criminal actions in 2022 marked a 40% increase from the 27 officer homicides reported in 2013. Additionally, it surpassed the 57 officers killed by criminality in 2018, as indicated by five- and 10-year comparisons provided in the FBI’s release.
The average age of officers feloniously killed in 2022 across the nation was reported to be 39 years old, with an average service time of seven years at the time of their deaths.
The FBI’s release further outlined the circumstances surrounding the 60 officers killed by criminal actions in 2022. Six officers were victims of unprovoked attacks, 12 died during investigative or enforcement activities and 12 were ambushed.
Firearms were involved in 49 out of the 60 criminal homicides of officers in 2022, as stated by the FBI. Additionally, three officers were killed by offenders using vehicles as weapons, and eight officers lost their lives due to the offender’s use of personal weapons (hand, fists, feet, etc.).
The release also mentioned that law enforcement agencies identified 51 alleged assailants connected to the felonious line-of-duty deaths, with 10 of them having prior criminal arrests.
The statistics presented by the FBI underscore the ongoing risks faced by law enforcement officers nationwide, highlighting the need for continued support and measures to ensure their safety in the line of duty.