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FBI: 56 Police Officers Slain in 2010

Fifty-six U.S. law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2010, according to preliminary statistics released on Monday by the FBI.

The total is eight more than the 48 officers slain in 2009.

Twenty-two officers were killed in the south, 18 in the west, 10 in the midwest, three in the northeast, and three in Puerto Rico.

Of the 56 deaths, 15 officers were killed in ambushes, eight were investigating suspicious persons, seven were killed during pursuits or traffic stops, nine interrupted robberies in progress or were pursuing robbery suspects, six were responding to disturbance calls, three died during tactical situations, two were conducting investigations, one was handling or transporting a prisoner, one was killed during a drug-related conflict and four were attempting to make arrests.

The suspects involved in the incidents used firearms in all but one of the deaths. The lone officer who was not fatally shot was killed with a vehicle.

Thirty-eight of the officers were wearing body armor at the times of their deaths.

Sixteen fired their own weapons, seven attempted to use their own weapons, seven had their weapons stolen and seven were killed with their own weapons.

In addition to the officers who were feloniously killed, 72 were killed in accidents, marking an increase of 24 officers compared to the 48 officers accidentally killed in the previous year.

The FBI will release the final statistics on officers killed and assaulted in the line of duty in its annual report in the fall.