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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Department of Justice Releases Report on the Ambush of Police Officers

The Department of Justice today announced the release of an Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) report that addresses ambushes and violence against police officers.  The report, Ambushes of Police: Environment, Incident Dynamics, and the Aftermath of Surprise Attacks against Law Enforcement, analyzes ambushes of the police and provides new information that can guide police executives, trainers, supervisors, policymakers and researchers in addressing the issue. 

“Law enforcement officers regularly put their lives on the line in order to protect our communities and serve our nation,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “As part of our work to support these brave men and women, the Department of Justice is committed to extensive efforts aimed at preventing violent action against the police.  This report will serve as a critical base of knowledge as we work to defend our law enforcement and ensure our officers’ safety.”

“Every day, law enforcement officers serve this nation with distinction by protecting all of us from harm,” said Director Ronald Davis of the COPS Office.  “That protection, however, comes at great risk to the men and women who courageously don the uniform and wear the badge.  We know that the murder of a police officer in the line of duty is an assault on the entire community.  When that murder is a result of an ambush, it also attacks the very foundation of our democracy.  We must act to address this persistent threat.  This ambush report is an important first step.”

The report, compiled by CNA, investigates methods for preventing, responding to, and effectively responding to ambushes of police officers.  Ambush attacks against law enforcement officers remain a threat to officer safety, with the number of attacks per year holding steady since a decline in the early 1990s and the proportion of fatal attacks on officers attributable to ambushes increasing.

The report examines the environmental factors prevalent in ambush situations, and considers factors that may impact the survivability of an ambush assault.  It also examines how police organizations can learn in the wake of these critical incidents and aid in the development and evaluation of policies and training programs aimed at improving outcomes following an ambush assaults against an officer.

The report, Ambushes of Police: Environment, Incident Dynamics, and the Aftermath of Surprise Attacks against Law Enforcement, is available here: https://cops.usdoj.gov/RIC/ric.php?page=detail&id=COPS-P340.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide.  Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 126,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance.  For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.

Press Release Number: 
Updated August 13, 2020