A Rise in Non-fatal Injury Assaults on Law Enforcement Officers

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that nonfatal injuries from work-related assaults are rising among law enforcement officers.

According to NIOSH, the study is the first national investigation of nonfatal injuries from assaults and other unintentional injuries, including accidental falls and motor vehicle crashes.

The aim of this study is to provide national estimates and trends of nonfatal injuries to law enforcement officers from 2003 through 2014.

Between 2003 and 2014, an estimated 669,100 law enforcement officers were treated in U.S. emergency departments for nonfatal injuries. The overall rate of 635 per 10,000 full-time equivalents was three times higher than all other U.S. workers rate (213 per 10,000 full-time equivalents).

The three leading injury events were:

  • Assaults and violent acts (35%);
  • Bodily reactions and exertion (15%); and
  • Transportation incidents (14%).

Injury rates were highest for the youngest officers, aged 21–24 years. Male and female law enforcement officers had similar nonfatal injury rates. Rates for most injuries remained stable; however, rates for assault-related injuries grew among law enforcement officers between 2003 and 2011.