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FBI: Number of L.E. Officers Slain Down in 2012

Preliminary statistics released by the FBI on Monday show that fewer law enforcement officers were slain in the line of duty in last year compared to 2011.

The 47 officers who were feloniously killed 2012 is 25 fewer than the 72 officers slain on duty the previous year, according to a news release from the agency.

Twelve of the officers died from injuries inflicted while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, eight who died were conducting traffic pursuits or stops, five were engaged in tactical situations, and five officers were killed as a result of ambushes.

Four officers’ deaths occurred as a result of answering disturbance calls and three officers were transporting, handling, or maintaining custody of prisoners.

Two of the fallen officers sustained fatal injuries during drug-related matters, two were attempting to make other arrests and two were performing investigative activities.

Two officers were responding to robberies in progress, one was responding to a burglary in progress and one officer was killed as a result of handling a person with a mental illness.

According to the report, suspects used firearms in 43 of the 47 felonious deaths.

There were 30 incidents which involved handguns, seven incidents with rifles and three incidents with shotguns, while the type of firearm was not reported in three of the incidents.

Two of the slain officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons, one was killed with a knife and one officer died from injuries inflicted with personal weapons -- such as hands, fists, or feet.

Twenty of the slain officers were wearing body armor at the times of the incidents.

Six of the officers fired their own weapons and two officers attempted to fire their service weapons.

Three of the officers had their weapons stolen, however, none of the officers were killed with their own weapons.

The 47 officers died from injuries sustained in 44 separate incidents, while 42 of those incidents have been cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

According to the FBI, additional 45 officers were accidentally killed in the line of duty in 2012.

This total represents eight fewer officers who died in accidents when compared with the 53 officers who were accidentally killed during the same time period in 2011.

Of the officers who died as a result of accidents, 22 died due to automobile accidents, 10 were struck by vehicles and six officers were in motorcycle accidents.

Three of the officers were killed due to aircraft accidents, two in accidental shootings, one from a fall, and one officer died as a result of an ATV accident.

The final statistics of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program's publication "Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2012" will be published on the FBI's website in the fall.