The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its preliminary 2022 data on law enforcement officer line-of-duty deaths. The FBI’s reporting breaks down the statistics on the circumstances surrounding felonious and accidental officer deaths. It also provides a breakdown of number of deaths due to various medical conditions.
The FBI will use this line-of-duty death data to update its Officer Safety Awareness Training (OSAT) program so that this training effectively targets the most pressing safety issues for law enforcement officers.
There were 60 felonious deaths, 58 accidental deaths, and 81 deaths due to medical conditions, totaling 199 law enforcement officer line-of-duty deaths in 2022. Notable findings from the FBI’s preliminary 2022 statistics include:
- The 60 felonious deaths represent a 17.8% decrease from the 73 officers feloniously killed in 2021.
- Among the 60 felonious deaths, the circumstance associated with the largest number of deaths (12) was ambushes against officers involving entrapment and premeditation. The FBI defines this circumstance as one where an unsuspecting officer is deliberately targeted or lured into danger. These 12 deaths represent a 50% increase over the number of deaths due to ambush attacks in 2021 (8).
- The circumstance associated with the biggest decrease in felonious deaths when compared with 2021 data was unprovoked attacks. In 2021, 24 deaths were associated with unprovoked attacks. This circumstance significantly outpaced all other felonious deaths in 2021 and was the highest number of deaths attributed to unprovoked attacks in 30 years of reporting. In 2022, this number declined 75% to only 6 deaths due to unprovoked attacks.
- Firearms were used in 81.7% of felonious deaths in 2022.
- 48 of the 58 accidental deaths involved circumstances related to motor vehicles, where either a pedestrian officer was struck by a vehicle, or the officer was involved in a motor vehicle crash.
- 52 of 81 deaths attributed to medical conditions were due to illness related to COVID-19. While these COVID-19-related deaths represent the majority (61%) of all deaths due to medical conditions in 2022, this is a drastic decrease from the 257 officers who died from COVID-19-related illnesses in 2021.
To learn more about the FBI’s 2022 statistics on law enforcement line-of-duty deaths, see the FBI’s Jan. 12 news release. You can download this report and related data from the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer (CDE), under the LEOKA section of the CDE. Learn more about how the FBI collects and uses this data through its Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) program.