FBI: Fewer law enforcement killed in 2023, but attacks on the rise

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Slightly fewer law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty last year, though assaults on such officials increased, according to a new FBI report.

Sixty officers were killed in the line of duty in 2023, one fewer than the previous year, the FBI said in a new report using data collected by law enforcement agencies across the country. While the past three years have seen a slight overall decline, the three-year period had the highest total number of law enforcement deaths, 193, out of any such three-year period in the past 20 years, the bureau noted.

Of those killed officers in the line of duty last year, about 52 percent were killed by gunshot wounds, per the report. The majority of fallen officers, 54, were male, while six were female.

The South saw the most officers killed, making up 20 of last year’s line-of-duty office deaths.

2023 saw the highest officer assault rate, with 79,091 assaults at a rate of 13.2 assaults per 100 officers, the report found. The number of officers injured by firearms reached a ten-year high of about 466 officers.

The report comes during National Police Week, which runs from Sunday to next weekend in honor of officers who have died on the job.

“Police Week gives us an important opportunity to recognize and thank those heroes who walk among us — the men and women of courage and character who think of others before themselves, no matter the cost,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a Monday video message.

As of April 29, 19 law enforcement officers have been killed on the job this year, while 21 died from accidents on duty.

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