By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Emily Moessner

Earlier this month the FBI released the 2016 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Report using data collected from the Uniform Crime Report.  The UCR uses data collected from all law enforcement agencies.

Lachlan Chronister of the Tuscaloosa Police Department, says that the best way to come up with more effective training methods is to analyze the data from these reports, and move away from more traditional classroom based training and utilize in the field training.

“The old way of training that used to go on was basically classroom oriented, and it’s really hard at times to do a classroom oriented training and expect to get the perfect result on the street without actually doing the action.”

In 2016, there were 66 felonious deaths (intentional) and 52 accidental deaths.

Of those felonious deaths, 64 were men and 2 were women.  On average they had 13 years of law enforcement experience, and 51 of them were wearing body armor.

There were several causes of the felonious deaths:

  • 17 Ambushes
  • 13 Disturbance Calls
  • 9 Suspicious Persons
  • 9 Arrest Situations
  • 6 Tactical Situations
  • 5 investigative Activity
  • 4 Traffic Pursuits/Stops
  • 3 Unprovoked Stops

Of the 52 accidental deaths, 50 were men and 2 were women.  On average they had 11 years of law enforcement experience. Half of the accidental deaths were caused by auto accidents, followed by 12 being struck by vehicles, and 7 being motorcycle accidents.

The Tuscaloosa Police Department looks at both the felonious and accidental deaths when analyzing the data.

“Accidents being the term that it is, most people think ‘well it’s just an accident’ but a lot of the time it’s not.  There’s a lot of things that go into why an accident happens when an officer is killed and we want to improve those ones just as much as the felonious ones” Chronister said.

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