The Drug Enforcement Agency, which has an international network of agents that’s been involved in high profile arrests of arms smugglers and domestically carries out a number of drug raids, including shutting down meth houses, had just one officer assaulted or killed in the line of duty in all of 2006 and 2007, according to statistics maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and accessed through Sunlight’s new National Data Catalog.
Recently the Reporting Group has been reviewing the accuracy of crime and Justice Department statistics, something we mentioned in a chapter we produced for the Open Government book by Daniel Lathrop and Laurel Ruma published by O’Reilly Media. We’ve been using the National Data Catalog using simple key word searches like “justice” and “crime.”
The relative good fortune of the Drug Enforcement Agency in avoiding assaults and deaths (the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted data doesn’t make a distinction between the two–more info on the data is here) was somewhat surprising given the dangerous nature of their work (we’ve asked the FBI, which collects the stats, for clarification to make sure that, for example, undercover agents are counted). The Internal Revenue Service had no officers assaulted over two years; Customs and Border Enforcement officers had the most incidents (815 in 2006, 1234 in 2007).