Assaults on Law Enforcement Officers from 2000 - 2014
There were, on average, 8,330 Assaults on officers per year, 2,318 of which resulted in injury.
Law enforcement agencies across the state report this data to the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) as part of the Federal Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR). The data includes officers who work in an official capacity, have full arrest powers, carry a badge, carry a firearm, and are paid from governmental funds set aside specifically for sworn law enforcement representatives. Pursuant to UCR guidelines, the data excludes correctional officers who are employed at the local or state level. These analyses are based on CA DOJ data.
How have the number of assaults and assault rate changed over time?
From 2000-2014, the total number of assaults on law enforcement officers increased by 12%, while the number of law enforcement officers increased by about one thousand per year. The assault rate (assaults per 100,000 officers) did not substantially change over that time period.
The number of assaults resulting in injury saw an increase of nearly 33% from 2000 to 2014. Despite a decline from 2004 to 2011, the number of assaults causing injury saw a steady increase between 2011 and 2014. The rate of assaults causing injury declined from 2004 to 2011 by about 23%, but then increased from 2011 to 2014.
How have assaults per arrest changed over time?
From 2000-2014, the total number of arrests declined by over 16%. However, because the number of assaults increased by about 13% over that same period of time, the number of assaults per arrest saw a steep increase.
While the rate of assaults per arrest between 2000 and 2014 was low, the number of assaults per arrest rose by over 40%, with injurious assaults increasing by 60%.
In what manner are Officers Assaulted?
In the years from 2000 to 2014, most assaults were committed without weapons, by sheer bodily force (e.g. puniching, slapping, kicking), with significantly fewer committed using weapons like firearms or knives. However, most assaults causing injury were committed by use of those weapons.
The number of assaults by knives that also caused injury spiked significantly in 2011 and again in 2014. The proportion of assaults by firearms that also caused injury appears to have spiked in 2010 and remained until 2014 at higher levels than prior to 2010. The proportion of assaults using other dangerous weapons and causing injury declined between 2010 and 2014.
In what situations did officer assaults take place?
Officers respond to many diifferent calls at all times of the day. Between 2000 and 2014, about 30% of assaults of law enforcement officers occurred while officers were responding to disturbance calls. The proportion of assaults in response to Traffic and Disturbances went down between 2000 and 2014, but the proportion of assaults on officers while in the process of Attempting an Arrest increased by 1.7 times.
Almost 70% of the assaults between 2000 and 2014 occured between the hours of 2 PM and 2 AM, while only 12% occurred between 2 AM and 8 AM. There has been some change in the time of day at which assaults are typically committed. The percentage of assaults occurring between 8 AM and 2 PM increased by 50% during the 14 year period; those committed between 8 PM and 2 AM steadily declined between 2009 and 2014.
On what type of assignments were officers assaulted?
Officers are assigned to either patrolling in single or double officer vehicles or to other special duties, such as investigative, protective or detective activities.
Officers were assaulted much more frequently while patrolling in vehicles than while assigned to handle other special duties. In fact, assaults on officers patrolling in vehicles account for over 70% of the total assaults on officers between 2000 and 2014. Officers assigned to Special or Other duties are assaulted much less often. Compared to 2000, the assault rates for most assignments have stayed constant.