The circumstances leading to the death of Master Cpl. Sandy Rogers on the morning of Jan. 28, 2012, were summarized in a report released by the FBI this week.
According to statistics collected by the FBI, 48 officers died in 2012 as the result of “felonious acts,” down from 72 in 2011. The report, titled “Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted,” goes through each state alphabetically and provides a summary of the circumstances leading to each officer's death.
Rogers, a 28-year veteran of the Aiken Department of Public Safety, was shot while investigating a suspicious vehicle in Eustis Park on Jan. 28, 2012. As Rogers exited her patrol vehicle, the accused gunman, 28-year-old Joshua Jones, fired three rounds at her from a .40-caliber handgun, according to the summary.
Rogers was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Jones led lawmen on a high-speed chase and was able to escape. He was later located in Batesburg-Leesville and arrested.
The goal of the FBI's detailed report is to reduce law enforcement deaths and assaults.
“By providing agencies with detailed descriptions of circumstances leading to officer fatalities and injuries every year, police training programs can be continuously enhanced to help officers stay safe during similar situations,” a release stated.
Of the 48 officers killed during felonious incidents, 44 were killed with firearms, according to the report. By region, 22 officers were killed in the South, eight were killed in the West, six in the Midwest, six in the Northeast and six in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Additionally, nearly 53,000 officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2012, more than 14,600 of which were injured, the report stated.
The first report of officers killed and assaulted was released by the FBI in 1972, according to spokesman Billy Estok.
Lt. Karl Odenthal, a spokesman for Aiken Public Safety, said the department didn't wait for a report and immediately made changes in training following the deaths of Rogers and Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson barely a month earlier.
“We immediately went to a more tactical refresher and a tactical-based training on everything from traffic stops to personal contacts,” Odenthal said. “We've always done tactical training, but we've had a greater emphasis placed on it.”
The department has had special vendors provide the training and even brought other local agencies in on it, including the active-shooter training at South Aiken High School in June. Odenthal said the department also incorporates refresher training into daily roll call.
“It's a good time to do a refresher, right before you go on patrol,” he said. “That's been our approach from the beginning. We make sure we're staying current on all the latest trends and incorporating them into our training models.”
The full report can be viewed by visiting http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2012/leoka-home.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.