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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2016

Tim Prenzler, Tyler Cawthray, Louise E. Porter and Geoffrey P. Alpert

From 2002 to 2014, the Portland Police Bureau reported large reductions in complaints against officers and use of force indicators. The purpose of this paper is to develop…

Abstract

Purpose

From 2002 to 2014, the Portland Police Bureau reported large reductions in complaints against officers and use of force indicators. The purpose of this paper is to develop a case study to document these changes and explore possible influences.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper maps the changes in conduct indicators against the developing relationship between the Bureau and the Portland Independent Police Review Division, and changes in policies and procedures.

Findings

Public complaints reduced by 54.4 per cent, while the rate of specific allegations per officer fell by 70.1 per cent. Quarterly use of force incident reports were reduced by 65.4 per cent between 2008 and 2014. Annual average shootings decreased from a high of nine per year across 1997-2002 to just below four per year in 2009-2014. Fatal shootings also trended downward but remained two per year in the last three years on record. Reforms instituted during this period that may have influenced these trends include a more rigorous complaints process, an early intervention system (EIS), enhanced external and internal review mechanisms, policy changes and training initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

The researchers were unable to control for a range of additional variables that may have influenced the findings, including police deployments and changes in officer demographics.

Practical implications

The study provides support for strategies to improve police conduct including external oversight, diagnostic research, training focussed on de-escalation and minimal force, and complaint profiling and EISs.

Originality/value

There are very few studies available showing large long-term reductions in adverse police conduct indicators.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

J. Andrew Hansen, Jeff Rojek, Scott E. Wolfe and Geoffrey P. Alpert

Little is known regarding the impact of organizational policies and practices on police officers’ driving behaviors. To address an important gap in the empirical…

Abstract

Purpose

Little is known regarding the impact of organizational policies and practices on police officers’ driving behaviors. To address an important gap in the empirical literature, this study examined how perceived likelihood of discipline for violations of agency driving policies impacted officer-involved vehicle collisions.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys were distributed to patrol officers and their supervisors in eight California law enforcement agencies. The surveys elicited information regarding the perceived likelihood of discipline for violations of agency driving policies regarding cell phone use, text messaging, seatbelt use, speeding, and vehicle operations during emergency and pursuit situations.

Findings

The findings demonstrated a significant impact of perceived likelihood of enforcement for some but not all agency driving policies on officer-involved vehicle collisions.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to self-reported data from patrol officers and their supervisors in eight California agencies.

Practical implications

Findings suggest that agencies may reduce officer injuries and other costs by increasing supervision and enforcement of agency driving policies.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the extant body of literature on officer-involved vehicle collisions by considering the impact of agency policy and supervision on officer behavior.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Conan Becknell, G. Larry Mays and Dennis M. Giever

Police officers frequently receive criticism for excessive use of force and, at times, the criticism becomes litigation. The use of excessive force is manifest in areas…

Abstract

Police officers frequently receive criticism for excessive use of force and, at times, the criticism becomes litigation. The use of excessive force is manifest in areas such as the unauthorized use of firearms and the videotaped and much publicized beating of motorist Rodney King. However, recently police scholars and practitioners have come to realize that the use of police vehicle pursuits also have the potential to become deadly force. This issue is appearing with increasing frequency and it has resulted in the case of Sacramento County et al. v. Lewis being appealed to and decided by the US Supreme Court. This article analyzes the consequences of police departments having more, or less, restrictive policies in regard to police vehicle pursuits. Different elements of policy restrictiveness also are examined.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2007

Michael R. Smith, Robert J. Kaminski, Jeffrey Rojek, Geoffrey P. Alpert and Jason Mathis

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of police use of conducted energy devices (CEDs) on officer and suspect injuries while controlling for other types of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of police use of conducted energy devices (CEDs) on officer and suspect injuries while controlling for other types of force and resistance and other factors.

Design/methodology/approach

Data on 1,645 use‐of‐force incidents occurring between January 1, 2002 and July 2006 were obtained from two different law enforcement agencies. Logistic and generalized ordered logistic regressions are used to model the odds of injury and severity of injury.

Findings

The use of CEDs was associated with reduced odds of officer and suspect injury and the severity of suspect injury in one agency. In the other agency CED use was unrelated to the odds of injury; however, the use of pepper spray was associated with reduced odds of suspect injury. Among other findings, in both agencies the use of hands‐on tactics by police was associated with increased odds of officer and suspect injury, while the use of canines was associated with increased odds of suspect injury.

Research limitations/implications

Although this research was carried out in two distinctly different law enforcement agencies with different histories of CED adoption, the fact that CED use was associated with reductions in injuries in one agency but not the other indicates the need for additional research on the impact of CED use in other settings

Practical implications

The analysis suggests that relative to other forms of force, the use of CEDs and pepper spray can reduce the risk of injury to both suspects and law enforcement officers. This information should prove useful to law enforcement agencies considering adopting CEDs and suggests that agencies should consider the use of these less lethal alternatives in place of hands‐on tactics against actively resistant suspects.

Originality/value

At the time of this writing there was no published independent research on the risks of injury associated with CED use in field settings. The findings reported herein will help inform the public debate on the utility of CEDs for law enforcement.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2019

Molly Miranda McCarthy, Louise E. Porter, Michael Townsley and Geoffrey P. Alpert

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether community-oriented policing (COP) influences rates of police use of force across communities, and whether the impact of COP…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether community-oriented policing (COP) influences rates of police use of force across communities, and whether the impact of COP varies according to the level of violent crime in communities.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of data sources including police use of force reports, online surveys of Officers-in-Charge and recorded crime data was used to examine the association between formal and informal community consultation and the frequency of police use of force, across 64 socially challenged communities in Australia.

Findings

Poisson multilevel modelling indicated no overall association between informal or formal community engagement and rates of police use of force. However, significant interaction terms for both informal and formal community consultation with violent crime rates indicated that higher levels of informal and formal community consultation were associated with lower rates of police use of force in communities with higher levels of violent crime. This relationship was not evident in low violent crime areas.

Research limitations/implications

Communities were purposively sampled to have a high propensity for police use of force, on the basis that they had high rates of violent crime, or high levels of socio-economic disadvantage, or both. This research should be replicated with a representative sample of communities.

Practical implications

The findings extend the potential benefits of COP to reducing the use of coercive policing tactics in high violent crime communities.

Originality/value

This study finds that COP can reduce the frequency of violent encounters between police and community members in high violent crime communities.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1995

Roger G. Dunham and Geoffrey P. Alpert

In the wake of the Rodney King incident, considers how police can be trained to use force in order to maintain civic control while ensuring that this authority is not used…

Abstract

In the wake of the Rodney King incident, considers how police can be trained to use force in order to maintain civic control while ensuring that this authority is not used inappropriately. Outlines significant methods to control police force: more selective recruitment; establishment of policies and procedures consonant with civic values; police socialization and training; supervision and accountability. Reports on a drug enforcement program, in Metro‐Dade Police Department, which achieved great success with minimal use of force, due to stringent selection, a problem‐solving approach, strategic and tactical training and deployment of officers to give a show of force.

Details

American Journal of Police, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0735-8547

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

Michael R. Smith and Geoffrey P. Alpert

Explores the debate over the safety and efficacy of police use of force tactics in general, and pepper spray in particular. Introduces the force continua, checklists…

Abstract

Explores the debate over the safety and efficacy of police use of force tactics in general, and pepper spray in particular. Introduces the force continua, checklists employed by US police forces to prescribe levels of force to be used in particular situations. Reviews the literature, discusses two recent studies and the legal and ethical issues involved. Suggests further research in less‐than‐lethal weapons.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Richard A. Wright and J. Mitchell Miller

Although numerous studies recently have appeared that identify the most‐cited scholars and works in the general criminology and criminal justice literature and in several…

Abstract

Although numerous studies recently have appeared that identify the most‐cited scholars and works in the general criminology and criminal justice literature and in several specialty areas, no previous citation study has specifically examined the police studies literature. Through an analysis of 370 articles and research notes appearing from 1991 to 1995 in the areas of police studies, published in Criminology, Justice Quarterly, and four academic periodicals devoted to police studies, we list the 50 most‐cited scholars and the 36 most‐cited works. The lists of the most‐cited scholars and works in the specialty area of police studies are compared to general lists taken from leading criminology and criminal justice journals and introductory textbooks. We conclude with some thoughts about the relevance of citation analysis to specialists in police studies.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2012

Geoffrey P. Lantos and Lincoln G. Craton

The purpose of this paper is to provide a model of consumer response to music in broadcast commercials outlining four variables (listening situation, musical stimulus…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a model of consumer response to music in broadcast commercials outlining four variables (listening situation, musical stimulus, listener characteristics, and advertising processing strategy) that affect a consumer's attitude toward the advertising music (Aam).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of an integrative review of the relevant literatures from the psychology of music, marketing, and advertising.

Findings

Aam can be positively but also negatively influenced by many factors. Only some of these variables are employed in any typical study on consumer response to music, which may account for some conflicting findings.

Practical implications

The paper discusses factors for effectively using commercial music to affect Aam, with special focus on advertising processing strategy. Advertisers are urged to exercise extreme caution in using music and to always pretest its use considering factors identified in this paper. The paper suggests ways in which the model can guide future research.

Originality/value

The paper integrates diverse literatures and outlines the major variables comprising our model of consumer response to advertising music. Advertisers can use these variables as a checklist for factors to consider in selecting ad music.

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Lincoln G. Craton and Geoffrey P. Lantos

The purpose of this paper is to identify the causes and implications of potential negative consumer response to music in broadcast commercials. It aims to accomplish this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the causes and implications of potential negative consumer response to music in broadcast commercials. It aims to accomplish this by introducing a new consumer response variable, attitude toward the advertising music (Aam) and relating Aam's components to advertising goals. It also aims to propose that Aam is a significant component of attitude toward the ad (Aad).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of an integrative review of the relevant literatures in the psychology of music, consumer marketing, and advertising to formulate Aam.

Findings

Favorable Aam is a necessary but insufficient condition for favorable Aad in ads employing music. Furthermore, a negative Aam might cause a negative Aad. Given the numerous possible negative responses to music in a TV or radio commercial, achieving a favorable Aam among most target audience members is very challenging, especially when music‐message fit is lacking.

Practical implications

The paper offers cautionary advice for advertisers using music and directions for future research.

Originality/value

The paper provides a novel integration of literatures in psychology and marketing/advertising. Whereas most scholars and practitioners assume that music adds value to commercials, the authors demonstrate key ways in which music can cause adverse listener reactions.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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