FBI: 132 Police Killed

While on Duty in 2003

The FBI reported yesterday that 132 police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2003.

Of the total, which is eight deaths more than in 2002, 49 were killed in traffic accidents and 45 by firearms. Thirty-one of those killed with guns were wearing body armor at the time.

In all cases, the average age of the officer killed was about 37 and the average level of police experience 10 years. The totals translate into one officer death every 2.8 days nationally, the FBI estimated.

Authorities solved all the cases in 2003 of officers who were shot to death or otherwise intentionally killed. Thirty-eight suspects were arrested, 14 were killed by police and six committed suicide, according to the FBI.

About half of the officers killed intentionally were making traffic stops or arrests. Ten were killed while investigating disturbance calls, and nine were ambushed.

Twenty-eight of the 52 intentional killings and 37 of the 80 accidental deaths took place in the South, by far the deadliest region.

In addition to the officer deaths, nearly 58,000 officers were assaulted in 2003 while performing official duties, with more than 16,000 suffering injuries.

Changes Urged for New

Census Bureau Study

The Census Bureau must make changes to a new annual survey that collects demographic information on Americans or risk having to mail "long forms" again for the next head count, in 2010, congressional watchdogs said yesterday.

The Government Accountability Office criticized planning and methodology for the new American Community Survey, including how to count Americans with seasonal homes and how information is collected for neighborhoods and other small areas.

Preston Jay Waite, the associate bureau director who oversees the new survey, said the GAO report was outdated and contained numerous factual errors.

Release of the report comes as the Bush administration lobbies the Senate for more money for the American Community Survey in 2005. President Bush requested $165 million. House members have earmarked $146 million, but the Senate bill stands at $65 million.

The bureau has said the new survey must be funded closer to the House proposal or it may have to revert to the 53-question long form.

Illness Keeps Rehnquist

From Court Sessions

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who has thyroid cancer, was absent from oral arguments at the Supreme Court again yesterday. It was the fourth straight session he has missed since the court announced his illness on Oct. 25.

Justice John Paul Stevens, presiding in Rehnquist's absence, said Rehnquist plans to vote in the two cases argued yesterday based on the briefs and a transcript.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports