October 24, 2014
Originally published in the October 2014 edition of the CJIS Link, Volume 16, Number 2
The FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program uses crime statistics gathered as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, along with additional information collected by LEOKA personnel, in their mission to reduce the number of law enforcement officer deaths and assaults. The program issues the annual publication, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, which provides statistics and details concerning officer deaths, assaults, and accidents. Using more than 40 years of these statistics and research, the LEOKA Program also provides free Officer Safety Awareness Training (OSAT) to local, state, tribal, federal, and international law enforcement agencies.
In addition to training, LEOKA Program staff address officer safety in articles published several times per year to the “Highlights” Web page of the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal’s (LEEP’s) Law Enforcement Online (LEO) Service. Select articles are also published in the FBI’s Law Enforcement Bulletin “Officer Survival Spotlight,” and the FBI National Academy Association’s bimonthly magazine, National Academy Associate. The subject matter varies, but all articles are relevant to current trends and issues law enforcement officers face each day. Some recent topics include speed and seatbelts, officer perceptions and assault prevention, as well as an article about the National Law Enforcement Memorial. All of the articles are archived and can be accessed electronically via the LEOKA Special Interest Group of the LEEP’s LEO Service1. Articles published in the Law Enforcement Bulletin can be found at http://leb.fbi.gov/.
An additional resource for LEOKA information is an e-book titled Narrative Summaries of Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed, 2007-2011. The e-book makes the summaries regarding officers killed in the line of duty in 2007-2011 available on mobile devices such as tablets, smart phones, and e-readers. The e-book provides easy access to valuable officer information for data users, trainers, and law enforcement partners. The e-book can be downloaded by clicking here or by using the link in the lower right corner of the LEOKA, 2012 home page.
As part of the LEOKA Program’s continuing efforts to gather and share important information, the program recently initiated a special study in conjunction with personnel from the Behavioral Research and Instruction Unit (BRIU) of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group. This multi-year study focuses on felonious killings and assaults of law enforcement officers during ambush situations. Team members are in the process of conducting interviews with victim officers and offenders to gain insight into such incidents. The findings from this study will be published under the title Ambushes and Unprovoked Attacks: Assaults on our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers. When complete, the study will be made available to all law enforcement officers, trainers, and executives.
The ultimate goal of the LEOKA Program is to provide relevant, high-quality, potentially lifesaving information to those who have sworn to protect their fellow citizens. For more information about LEOKA, visit the program’s most recent annual publication at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2012. To request an OSAT course in your area, e‑mail the training staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 To locate the archive of the LEOKA officer safety articles, members can access the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal. Next, click on the Law Enforcement Online (LEO) logo, click on the Special Interest Group (SIG) link, go to LEO SIGS drop down box and click on All SIGS and VOs. Click on the L tab, then on the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program. The articles are under the heading LEOKA Officer Safety Articles. (If you don’t have access to LEO, more information is available at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/leo.)
LEOKA Program staff regularly publish articles concerning officer safety trends and issues. Here are a few examples from recent articles.
"By simply watching their speed and wearing their seatbelts, officers can help protect themselves against accidental deaths behind the wheel."
"Statistics from the studies indicated that officers who perceived an offender as compliant believed the individual did not constitute a threat. This misperception caused officers to lower their guard, creating an opportunity for them to be feloniously assaulted."
"I believe the highest tribute I can pay these heroes is to study the circumstances that brought them to the memorial and learn from them so history is not repeated."