ALABAMA (WHNT) — New data released by the FBI on Monday revealed details about more than 100 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty throughout 2022.
When officers take the oath to protect their communities, the possibility that the job could take their life is lost on no one, but especially the families left behind the badge.
Of the 118 officers who were killed in 2022, 60 died during what the FBI called “felonious acts,” while 58 died in accidents.
Despite those felony-related deaths being down from 2021 (when 73 officers died in the line of duty), officials say it’s still an increase from the last five years.
In Alabama, 2023 has already been marred with the death of Huntsville Police Officer Garrett Crumby. He and Officer Albert Morin were answering a domestic violence call on March 28 when they were met with gunfire.
The Alabama chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police held a memorial service on May 5, 2023, along with state leaders to honor fallen law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
That ceremony also came on Alabama’s first official Peace Officers Memorial Day. Ivey signed that bill into law this session, making it the first Friday every May in Alabama from here on out.
Of the 60 officers killed in the line of duty last year during felony incidents, the FBI released the following circumstances:
- Six officers were killed in unprovoked attacks.
- 12 officers died as a result of investigative/enforcement activities.
- 12 officers were ambushed (entrapment/premeditation).
- Four officers encountered/assisted an emotionally disturbed person.
- Four officers were involved in pursuits.
- Six officers responded to disorders/disturbances.
- Six officers were involved in tactical situations.
- One officer was involved in arrest situation.
- Three officers responded to crimes in progress.
- Three officers were assisting other law enforcement officers.
- Two were serving/attempting to serve a court order (eviction notice, subpoena, etc.).
- One officer was providing/deploying equipment (flares, traffic cones, etc.).
Guns were used in 49 incidents, eight were killed by the offender’s “personal weapons” (hands, fists, feet, etc.), and three were killed by vehicles used as weapons, officials state.
Out of the 51 alleged suspects, 10 had prior criminal arrests and two were under judicial supervision at the time of the deadly incidents.
35 of the 58 accidental deaths involved officers killed in motor vehicle crashes. 13 were pedestrian officers hit by a vehicle, six were in an aircraft crash, two officers were killed in a fall and two died as the result of a firearm incident.
Here are the law enforcement officers lost in Alabama in 2022:
Madison County: Investigator Steven Ray Finley, Jan. 14
Hanceville: Lieutenant Kevin Pounders, Jan. 23
DeKalb County: Deputy Steve Bobbitt, Feb. 3
Cherokee County: Sheriff Corporal Michael Keith Morgan, Feb. 16
Cedar Bluff: Police Sgt. Christopher Michael Vaughn, April 1
Vestavia Hills: Officer Darryl Wayne Fortner, April 6
Chambers County: Sheriff Deputy J’Mar Colin Abel, June 20
Bibb County: Sheriff Deputy Bradley Steven Henry Johnson, June 30
Mount Vernon: Police Officer Ivan Mauricio Lopez, Aug. 22
Heflin: Police K9 Beni, Jan. 5
You can find details about every fallen officer or law enforcement official in the state of Alabama here. You can also find all of the statistics provided by the FBI’s “Crime Data Explorer” here.
As of May 8, 2023, there have been 11 deaths in the line of duty already. To learn more about the officers and deputies behind the numbers, visit the Officer Down Memorial Page.