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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2009

Jessica R. Dunham

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167

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Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Ronald J. Burke and Aslaug Mikkelsen

Although many studies have considered burnout in the human services, little research on burnout has focused on police officers. This study aims to examine the relationship…

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3199

Abstract

Purpose

Although many studies have considered burnout in the human services, little research on burnout has focused on police officers. This study aims to examine the relationship between burnout and police officers' attitudes towards the use of force and attitudes towards the use of social skills to solve problems.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 766 police officers in Norway using anonymously completed questionnaires.

Findings

Police officers reporting higher levels of cynicism also held more favorable attitudes towards the use of force; police officers reporting higher levels of professional efficacy also held more favorable attitudes towards the use of social skills to solve problems.

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to examine these findings in other countries and using longitudinal research designs.

Practical implications

Organizations are advised to monitor burnout levels of front‐line service workers and introduce structures and processes to reduce burnout levels.

Originality/value

This study has value for senior police management and employment counselors.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2016

Nicole E. Haas

In this study we set out to explain police support for the use of force, police response to a vignette about force, and police self-reported use of force.

Abstract

Purpose

In this study we set out to explain police support for the use of force, police response to a vignette about force, and police self-reported use of force.

Methodology/approach

The computer-assisted survey was conducted among 419 officers of the Metropolitana police department in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Findings

The regression analyses show that a substantial part of how officers view force, and the reported frequency of their own use of force, can be explained through demographic characteristics, organizational features, attitudes toward citizens, and personal experience.

Originality/value

This study was conducted in a region where excessive police use of force is unfortunately a continuing concern. Based on the results we advise police organizations to tackle this issue by investing in improving police attitudes toward both internal and external relations. We also recommend prohibiting officers to carry the regulatory gun while off duty, in order to reduce deaths of both civilians and officers.

Details

The Politics of Policing: Between Force and Legitimacy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-030-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2020

Alexis Rain Rockwell, Stephen A. Bishopp and Erin A. Orrick

The current study examines the effect of changing a specific use-of-force policy coupled with de-escalation training implementation on patterns of police use of force.

Abstract

Purpose

The current study examines the effect of changing a specific use-of-force policy coupled with de-escalation training implementation on patterns of police use of force.

Design/methodology/approach

An interrupted time-series analysis was used to examine changes in police use-of-force incident records gathered from a large, southwestern US metropolitan police department from 2013 to 2017 based on a TASER policy change and de-escalation training implementation mid-2015.

Findings

Results demonstrate that changes to use-of-force policy regarding one type of force (i.e. use of TASERs) coinciding with de-escalation training influence the prevalence of use-of-force incidents by increasing the reported police use-of-force incidents after the changes were implemented. This finding is somewhat consistent with prior literature but not always in the desired direction.

Practical implications

When police departments make adjustments to use-of-force policies and/or trainings, unintended consequences may occur. Police administrators should measure policy and training outcomes under an evidence-based policing paradigm prior to making those adjustments.

Originality/value

This study is the first to measure the effects of changing use-of-force policy and implementing de-escalation techniques in training on patterns of police use of force and shows that these changes can have a ripple effect across types of force used by police officers.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2020

Arabella Kyprianides, Julia A. Yesberg, Jenna Milani, Ben Bradford, Paul Quinton and Oliver Clark–Darby

The range of tactical force options available to police is increasing, while public debate about police use of force is never far from the headlines. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The range of tactical force options available to police is increasing, while public debate about police use of force is never far from the headlines. This paper aims to examine what factors shape how people accept police use of force.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use two online experiments to test whether different force options affected judgments about the acceptability of police action and to explore the role of trust and legitimacy in people's judgments.

Findings

The authors found across both studies that respondents judged scenarios involving a weapon (baton, CS spray, Taser) as less acceptable compared to scenarios that did not (talking down, handcuffs), but they did not draw much distinction between the specific weapon used. In study 1, exposure to different police tactics had no effect on trust and legitimacy. In study 2, prior perceptions of trust were strong predictors of acceptability judgments.

Originality/value

There is a comparative paucity of British-based empirical research examining public attitudes toward different use of force resolutions by police. In this paper, the authors explore how use of force affects people's views of police at a time in which the nature and scope of force applications, how these are understood and indeed the basic enterprise of policing itself is being reconsidered and renegotiated.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2011

Bruce Taylor, Geoffrey Alpert, Bruce Kubu, Daniel Woods and Roger G. Dunham

Few studies track non‐lethal weapon use by law enforcement agencies (LEAs), the number/level of force used by these agencies, complaints for excessive force, and injuries…

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2667

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies track non‐lethal weapon use by law enforcement agencies (LEAs), the number/level of force used by these agencies, complaints for excessive force, and injuries to officers and suspects, both over time (especially recently) and with a national probability‐based sample. This study aims to address these gaps by developing longitudinal estimates to examine these useofforce issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Two surveys of LEAs were conducted (n=518 and n=357 LEAs), covering 2003 to 2008, and statistical weights were used to align the data to be representative of all state and local LEAs in the USA, including adjustments for survey non‐response.

Findings

Conducted energy devices (CED) deployment has risen significantly (to about 70 percent of LEAs). However, standard baton use is down to 25 percent in 2008 and when available to the officer, batons are more likely to be left in their vehicles compared to CEDs. Baton use and empty‐hand tactics are becoming less commonly used by officers, but CED use was ranked among the most used tactics from 2005 to 2008. Excessive force complaints against LEAs, internally generated, have more than doubled from 2003 to 2008. Officer injuries varied little from 2003 to 2008, but they are still only about half as common as suspect injuries. Also, only 20 percent of LEAs collect injury data in a database, complicating future research.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to track, nationally, the types of non‐lethal weapons in use by LEAs, and force level used, providing aid to LEA executives and policymakers who need to follow new trends in non‐lethal weapons.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2008

William Terrill, Fredrik H. Leinfelt and Dae‐Hoon Kwak

This research seeks to examine police use of force from a smaller police agency perspective in comparison with what is known from previous research using data from…

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2679

Abstract

Purpose

This research seeks to examine police use of force from a smaller police agency perspective in comparison with what is known from previous research using data from larger‐scale agencies.

Design/methodology/approach

Using police use of force reports involving arrests (n=3,264) over a three‐year period (2002‐2004) from a small police agency located in the upper‐Midwest, this study utilizes descriptive and multivariate analyses to examine how and why officers use force.

Findings

While officers resorted to physical force (beyond handcuffing) in 18 percent of the arrest encounters, the majority of force is located at the lower end of the force continuum (e.g. soft hand control). However, unlike officer behavior, much of the resistant behavior displayed by suspects is toward the upper end of the spectrum (e.g. defensive/active). The results also indicate that the most powerful predictor of force is the presence and level of suspect resistance presented to officers. These findings are placed within the context of prior work.

Research limitations/implications

Since the current study relies on official data from a single police agency, the findings come with caution in terms of generalizability.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on police use of force by examining everyday force usage in a small police department.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Tom McEwen

Analyzes policies from 96 law enforcement agencies on their use of less‐than‐lethal force. Includes a review of several topics: policy purpose, definitions of lethal and…

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2086

Abstract

Analyzes policies from 96 law enforcement agencies on their use of less‐than‐lethal force. Includes a review of several topics: policy purpose, definitions of lethal and less‐than‐lethal force, provisions for authorized and unauthorized weapons, training requirements, avoiding excessive force, medical aid and report requirements. Concludes that most policies are deficient in one or more topic areas. Provides recommendations on how to improve these policies.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2018

William Terrill, Jason Robert Ingram, Logan J. Somers and Eugene A. Paoline III

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the relationship between police use of force and citizen complaints alleging improper use of force.

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1518

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the relationship between police use of force and citizen complaints alleging improper use of force.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study utilizes official use of force and citizen complaint data, as well as surveys of patrol officers, from the Assessing Police Use of Force Policy and Outcomes Project, a multimethod National Institute of Justice funded study.

Findings

Bivariate and multivariate analyses revealed that the number of use of force incidents that officers were involved in, as well as the types and levels of resistance they encountered from citizens, was related to use of force complaints from citizens. That is, those officers that were involved in more use of force situations were engaged in force encounters where the highest level of citizen resistance was “failure to comply,” and faced higher cumulative levels of citizen resistance, received more complaints alleging improper use of force.

Research limitations/implications

Studies of citizen complaints against police officers, especially those alleging improper use of force, should consider the number of force incidents officers are involved in, as well as other theoretically relevant force correlates.

Practical implications

Administrators, concerned with citizen allegations for improper use of force against their officers, should work to encourage their personnel to minimize the number of use of force applications, or at least less cumulative force, to resolve encounters with citizens.

Originality/value

While prior studies have examined police use of force and citizen complaints independently, the current study examines the empirical connection between use of force behavior and the generation of complaints from citizens.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Richard C. Lumb and Paul C. Friday

Use of “less than lethal weapons” by police has generated extreme review and controversy in some highly publicized cases. Confronting hostility and aggressiveness, police…

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1570

Abstract

Use of “less than lethal weapons” by police has generated extreme review and controversy in some highly publicized cases. Confronting hostility and aggressiveness, police officers cannot turn away and flee from a dangerous situation, forcing them to select the best available option for controlling the individual. Among the officers’ choice of responses, oleoresin capsicum (OC) pepper spray has proven to be extremely effective. However, this is not a risk‐free weapon, and due to a number of suspect deaths following its use, it has become controversial. Investigates if OC spray reduced the frequency and level of use of force, and if its availability affected the number of suspect and officer injuries.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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