Guns, Traffic Kill On-Duty FBI in '03

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The FBI (search) reported Monday that 132 police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2003, with guns and traffic accidents claiming the most lives.

Of the total, which is eight deaths more than in 2002, 49 were killed in traffic accidents and 45 slain with firearms. Thirty-one of those killed with guns were wearing body armor at the time.

In all cases, the average age of the officer killed was about 37 and average level of police experience 10 years. The totals translate into one officer death every 2.8 days nationally, the FBI estimated.

Authorities solved all the cases in 2003 of officers who were shot to death or otherwise intentionally killed. Thirty-eight suspects were arrested, 14 were killed by police and six committed suicide, according to the FBI.

About half of the officers killed intentionally were making traffic stops or arrests. Ten were slain while investigating disturbance calls, and nine were ambushed.

Twenty-eight of the 52 intentional killings and 37 of the 80 accidental deaths took place in the South, by far the deadliest region.

In addition to the officer deaths, nearly 58,000 officers were assaulted in 2003 while performing official duties, with more than 16,000 suffering injuries. Eight out of 10 of these attacks involved hands, fists and feet.

The report was culled from information submitted by more than 10,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement (search) agencies.