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FBI: Police officer deaths fell sharply in 2008


41 officers killed last year; number hasn't been that low since 1999

The Associated Press
updated 3:45 p.m. ET, Mon., Oct . 19, 2009

WASHINGTON - The number of police officers slain in the line of duty fell sharply last year, according to FBI data released Monday.

Bureau statistics list 41 law enforcement officers killed in 2008, down from 58 in 2007. The list includes one FBI agent, Sam Hicks, who was shot and killed during a drug raid outside Pittsburgh.

Felony killings of police officers havenít been that low since 1999, when 42 were killed, the FBI said. Police officer support groups ó which use different standards to count officer killings ó say the number of officers killed hasnít been this low since the 1960s.

In addition to felony killings, the FBI said 68 law enforcement officers were killed in accidents last year, most of them involving car crashes.