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Methodology: Law Enforcement Officers Killed

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When an officer is killed in the line of duty, the FBI gathers data about circumstances pertaining to the death. The data come from various sources:

  • City, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies participating in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program may report line-of-duty deaths that occur in their jurisdictions. 
  • FBI field offices report line-of-duty deaths of law enforcement officers that occur in the United States and its outlying areas. 
  • Several nonprofit organizations, such as the Concerns of Police Survivors and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which provide various services to the families of fallen officers, also furnish information about line-of-duty deaths. 

When the FBI receives notification of a line-of-duty death, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program staff works with FBI field offices to contact the fallen officer’s employing agency. The FBI requests additional details about the fatal incident and supplies information about federal programs that provide benefits to survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The LEOKA staff also obtains criminal history data from the FBI’s Interstate Identification Index about individuals who are identified in connection with line-of-duty felonious deaths.