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Spatial risk factors of felonious battery to police officers

Joel M. Caplan (School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA)
Phillip Marotta (School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA)
Eric L. Piza (Department of Law & Police Science, City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, New York, USA)
Leslie W. Kennedy (School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 11 November 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the spatial influence of features of the physical environment on the risk of aggression toward law enforcement.

Design/methodology/approach

The spatial analytic technique, risk terrain modeling was performed on felonious battery data provided by the Chicago Police Department.

Findings

Out of the 991 batteries against law enforcement officers (LEOs) in Chicago, 11 features of the physical environment were identified as presenting a statistically significant spatial risk of battery to LEOs. Calls for service within three blocks of foreclosures and/or within a dense area of problem buildings pose as much as two times greater risk of battery to police officers than what is presented by other significant spatial factors in the model.

Originality/value

An abundance of existing research on aggression toward law enforcement is situated from the perspective of characteristics of the suspect or officer. The research advances the field of violence studies by illustrating the importance of incorporating physical features of the environment into empirical studies of aggression.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Chicago Police Department for providing professional insights and valuable data for this project. This research was supported, in part, by funding from the Rutgers University Center on Public Security and a grant provided by the National Institute of Justice (Award #2012-IJ-CX-0038).

Citation

M. Caplan, J., Marotta, P., L. Piza, E. and W. Kennedy, L. (2014), "Spatial risk factors of felonious battery to police officers", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 823-838. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-04-2014-0045

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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