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Beyond the final report: A research note on the Assessing Police Use of Force Policy and Outcomes project

William Terrill (School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA)
Eugene A. Paoline III (Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Jason Robert Ingram (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 9 April 2018




The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot of key findings from research published from the Assessing Police Use of Force Policy and Outcomes study, a project funded by the National Institute of Justice.


Key findings from a national survey of police agencies on use of force policy and from an in-depth look at police use of force outcomes across eight cities published over the last ten years are synthesized to provide a cumulative perspective regarding the outcomes of the project.


The majority of police departments had a written force policy and reporting requirements, however, there was no commonly accepted force policy. Patrol officers were conservative in their views of what is reasonable force, administrative policy does matter in influencing force usage, and the use of a TASER impacted the likelihood of injury for both officers and citizens. Additional findings were also reviewed in the areas of complaints, police culture, first-line supervision, college education, and promotional aspirations.


While federal funding for policing related research projects are commonplace, taking a look back ten years later and summarizing key findings is uncommon. Doing so provides concise feedback to practitioners in one readily digestible manuscript. Furthermore, the paper also demonstrates the additional value to the original investment made by the National Institute of Justice.



Terrill, W., Paoline III, E.A. and Ingram, J.R. (2018), "Beyond the final report: A research note on the Assessing Police Use of Force Policy and Outcomes project", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 194-201.



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