National Police Week and Reflecting on FBI’s 2013 Line-of-Duty Deaths Report
By Mark Bond, professor of criminal justice at American Military University
As the nation’s law enforcement family gathers in Washington, D.C. this week for National Police Week to celebrate the lives of fallen law enforcement officers who gave their lives in the line of duty to protect their communities, the FBI released preliminary statically data for law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty for 2013.
In 2013, the FBI reports 27 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2013 (the FBI statistics focus mainly on feloniously deaths). Of those killed, 26 officers were killed by firearms, which included 19 handguns, 5 rifles, and 2 shotguns. One officer in the line-of-duty death report included an incident where the offender used a motor vehicle as a weapon.
Law enforcement officers were killed in the following types of situations as reported by the FBI:
- 7 officers were killed as a result of ambushes (unprovoked and entrapment/premeditated situations)
- 3 officers were killed answering domestic disturbance calls
- 2 officers killed answering unknown disturbance calls for service
- 5 officers killed conducting tactical operations
- 3 officers were killed investigating suspicious persons
- 3 officers killed on traffic stops
- 3 officers killed responding to robbery in progress calls
- 1 officer was killed in the line of duty performing investigative activity
The FBI reports that 19 officers were wearing department-issued body armor at the time of their deaths. Six officers were able to return fire with their duty weapons, and 3 officers attempted to engage the threats, but could not return fire due to their fatal wounds. One officer was killed with his own duty weapon when it was taken and used against him.
The FBI reports that 25 cases of officers killed in the line of duty in 2013 have been closed by arrest or exceptional means.
The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) website is dedicated to honoring all fallen American law enforcement officers and is a place for loved ones, fellow officers, and supportive citizens to leave a public reflection as a memorial about their fallen hero’s sacrifice and service to the community.
The ODMP reports that in 2013, 105 American law enforcement officer line-of-duty deaths have been reported. The ODMP reports all law enforcement officers’ line of duty deaths regardless of criminal act or accident.
As our nation’s law enforcement community gathers this week in their local communities and at the National Police Memorial in Washington, D.C. let us also reflect on the brave men and women who protect and serve our communities every day.
Let us honor the fallen by never forgetting their sacrifice by making this world a safer place for us all. The Thin Blue Line is strengthened when we honor our fallen by continuing the mission to protect and serve.
About the Author: Mark Bond worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms trainer for more than 29 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state, and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in Criminal Justice, and M.Ed in Educational Leadership with Summa Cum Laude Honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education with a concentration in distance education. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at American Military University & American Public University and is one of the faculty directors in the School of Public Service & Health. You can contact him at MBond(at)apus.edu.