Report: 12% Of Law Enforcement Officers Were Assaulted While On Duty In 2020

Bethany Blankley (The Center Square).

According to state-level statistics, nearly 12% of officers who were on duty during 2020 witnessed assaults. Data collected by the FBI. The highest percentage was reported by Alaska, while California had the lowest.

A total of 60,105 officers were assaulted nationwide, with the overwhelming majority assaulted, and injured, by assailants’ hands and feet.

Nationwide, 26% of assaults in 2020 involved a deadly weapon that wasn’t a firearm; 5% involved a firearm.

California and Texas had the greatest number of officers shot in 2020: 379 and 300, respectively – less than half of one percent of their entire force.

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Based on data available as of 2020 for 505,212 officers (72.5%) the report.

The FBI did not receive assault data from every law enforcement agency. Nine states that had limited statistics were left out of the report.

California (by size) and Alaska (by region) had the highest assault rates. Nearly two-thirds of Alaska’s officers, 813 out of 1,259, 64.6%, were assaulted, according to the data. While California reported a far lower percentage of its officers being assaulted – 16.2% compared to Alaska’s – far more California officers were assaulted, 11,599 out of a total force of 71,668.

The highest percentage of officers attacked were found in Montana (34.2%), South Dakota (32.9%), and Arizona (27.5%), after Alaska.

West Virginia was the only state to report zero percent. Next was Michigan with 0.8%. New Jersey had 2.2%, Ohio (3.2%), Louisiana (4.2%), Arkansas (7.1%) and Louisiana had 4.8%).

“If you break the assaults down by region, the West had the highest rate in the country at 18%,” Christian Worstell, author of a new HelpAdvisor Study that analyzed the FBI data, said.

California, Texas, and Florida have the highest numbers of police officers. However, they also had the highest number of assaults.

Florida was home to the 571st highest number of police officers who were assaulted in the line of duty. With a combined force of 41.898 officers in 2020, the 13.6% assaulted police officers make up 13.6%.

Texas had the third-greatest number – 5,359 out of 50,845, or 10.5%.

Data on assault refers to weapon use by criminals that may have resulted in injury or death for an officer.

The majority of officers were assaulted by assailants’ hands or feet, 73.9%, meaning they were likely hit, punched or kicked. A little over one-quarter (25%) of these assaults ended in injuries.

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The next greatest percentage, 19.6%, were assaulted with a dangerous weapon that wasn’t a firearm.

A total of 4.6% were attacked with a gun, while 2% used a knife or another cutting tool.

“Officers assigned to one-deputy patrol vehicles are at the greatest risk of an assault,” HelpAdvisor notes. Nearly two-thirds (63.4%) of those who were assaulted at the time, were assigned a one deputy patrol vehicle.

Next, the 16.8% of assault victims were injured in other ways. These included those who are assigned to two-deputy patrol vehicles (16.2%) and detective or special assignment (3.6%).

The majority of officers assaulted weren’t injured, but 31% were. Among them, 25.8% were injured by assailants’ hands and feet; 16.8% by a dangerous weapon other than a firearm, 9.7% by a knife or cutting instrument, and 6.1% by a firearm.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program collects data monthly about assaults on duly sworn federal, state, local, tribal, university and college, and county law enforcement officers. Data is sent by the respective agencies via their state programs, or directly to FBI.

This data for 2020 was supplied by 9895 law enforcement authorities whose officers served more than 235.5million people (71.5%).

This article was Syndicated by permission of The Center Square.