Matching Items (7)

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Law Enforcement Use of Force: An Analysis of the Literature in Criminal Justice and Psychology

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Highly publicized cases involving citizen fatalities due to police use of force raise questions about perceptions of danger. Arrest-related deaths due to weapons, accidental injuries, and natural causes remain high

Highly publicized cases involving citizen fatalities due to police use of force raise questions about perceptions of danger. Arrest-related deaths due to weapons, accidental injuries, and natural causes remain high year after year. Communities are greatly affected, and mistrust with the police continues to increase when these situations happen. There seem to be inaccurate perceptions that may stem from implicit associations, stereotypes, and social learning. These psychological concepts may provide theoretical explanations of how decisions are made when police officers are faced with danger. Some elements of this decision-making process may include suspect characteristics, officer experience, and police sub-culture. In this review, race/ethnicity and socio-economic status are examined as factors that contribute to police use of force. Disparities in use of force data often involve young, Black males living in low-income neighborhoods. The stereotype that this group is more dangerous than others stems from underlying prejudices and previous situations where Black people are targeted more in certain areas. Training, education, and community outreach programs can assist in mending relations between police and affected communities. Acknowledging these inaccurate perceptions, making the adjustments to police training and community relations, and being open to exploration in future research of other minority groups will assist in eliminating prejudices and creating better connections between law enforcement and the community.

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  • 2017-05

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Law Enforcement Officers' Training and their Use of Force

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The purpose of this paper was to identify issues that have arisen from lack of police officer training and misuse of force. The data analyzed is from the last 20

The purpose of this paper was to identify issues that have arisen from lack of police officer training and misuse of force. The data analyzed is from the last 20 years and represents the ratio of shots fired to hit ratios in officer involved shootings. Using this information, the next step was to look at different training simulations and scenario studies and how they relate to real life application in the field. The effects of the training and simulation studies provided insight into what training could implement. Specifically, FIRST training and simulations that replicated adrenaline and anxiety were effective in their results. Police officer training needs to implement similar programs as they could reduce the mistakes of officers and their use of force.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Body-Worn Cameras and the Use of Force in the Spokane Police Department

Description

Despite disciplinary actions by police departments, the use of force continues to be a prevalent aspect of police misconduct. High-profile cases reported by the media have put police departments under

Despite disciplinary actions by police departments, the use of force continues to be a prevalent aspect of police misconduct. High-profile cases reported by the media have put police departments under intense pressure to find a solution for this issue. One of the highly publicized potential solutions is the implementation of body-worn camera. The question this paper attempts to answer is: does the implementation of a body-worn camera program have a significant effect on the number of use of force incidents?

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Impact of Social Controls on Police Officers' Perceptions of Use of Force

Description

Police use of force has become a topic of national discussion, particularly in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Currently, the focus seems to be

Police use of force has become a topic of national discussion, particularly in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Currently, the focus seems to be on individual officers and their individual attitudes and beliefs. Given that use of force is an individual decision it is intuitive to think that an officer's decision to use force would be impacted by his or her attitudes and beliefs. This reasoning ignores the larger social and organizational contexts within which police officers are situated. Specifically, an officer's peer culture and department may exert control over his or her attitudes and behaviors regarding use of force. The purpose of the current study is to determine whether these larger social contexts impact an individual's perceptions regarding use of force. Using data from a nationally representative survey sample, the study finds that individual attitudes significantly predict officers' willingness to report another officer's excessive use of force. However, this relationship weakens when including measures of peer culture and departmental influence. These findings suggest that perceptions of use of force are influenced by more than just individual attitudes towards use of force. Limitations and future research suggestions are discussed.

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  • 2015-05

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De-Escalation in Police-Citizen Encounters: A Mixed Methods Study of a Misunderstood Policing Strategy

Description

There is demand for police reform in the United States to reduce use of force and bias, and to improve police-citizen relationships. Many believe de-escalation should be a more central

There is demand for police reform in the United States to reduce use of force and bias, and to improve police-citizen relationships. Many believe de-escalation should be a more central feature of police training and practice. It is suggested that improving officers’ communication and conflict resolution skills will temper police-citizen interactions and reduce police use of force, and that such a change will improve citizen trust in the police. To date, however, de-escalation training has not spread widely across agencies, and de-escalation as a strategy has not been studied. Without an evidence-based understanding of these concepts, de-escalation training will proceed blindly, if at all. Accordingly, this dissertation represents one of the first empirical studies of de-escalation in police work. The author completed this study as an embedded researcher in the Spokane (WA) Police Department, and it proceeds in two parts. Part 1 was exploratory and qualitative, consisting of in-depth interviews (N=8) and a focus group (N=1) with eight highly skilled police de-escalators. These officers were nominated by peers as the best among them at de-escalating difficult encounters with citizens. The results in Part 1 explore officers’ perceptions of de-escalation and offer a definition of de-escalation as well as a description of de-escalation tactics. In Part 2, the author systematically observed the concepts developed in part 1 during 35 ride-alongs with 29 police officers, including the peer nominated officers (N=131 police-citizen encounters). This phase of the research investigated whether characteristics of officers, citizens, and situations are associated with de-escalation use, and de-escalation effectiveness. Implications from these findings are drawn for police practice, theory, and research methods. This dissertation is a launching point for empirical research on de-escalation in police work.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Examining the Relationship Between Agency Size and Aggression During Police-Citizen Encounters

Description

Prior ethnographic research has found some relatively consistent factors that influence an officer’s use of force (e.g., organizational and suspect and officer characteristics). However, very little research has explored the

Prior ethnographic research has found some relatively consistent factors that influence an officer’s use of force (e.g., organizational and suspect and officer characteristics). However, very little research has explored the effect department size in and of itself may have on force displayed during a police/citizen encounter. This study used data from the 2010 – 2013 Arizona Arrestee Reporting Information Network (AARIN) to examine the relationship between departmental size and officer use of force. Participants in this data collection cycle were limited to adult male and female arrestees (N = 2,273). AARIN personnel conducted confidential interviews and used a Police-Contact Addendum to document the type of forced employed by police during their current arrest. This study sought to answer the following research question: does the likelihood of an officer employing use of force increase (or decrease) in relation to department size the officer is nested in? The results indicate that citizens who are arrested by officers from a larger agency are more likely to report experiencing use of force during their arrest when compared to those arrested by officers from small and medium sized agencies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Cops, culture, and context: the integration of structural and cultural elements for explanations of police use of force

Description

This dissertation integrates concepts from three bodies of literature: police use of force, neighborhood/ecological influence on police, and police culture. Prior research has generally found that neighborhood context affects

This dissertation integrates concepts from three bodies of literature: police use of force, neighborhood/ecological influence on police, and police culture. Prior research has generally found that neighborhood context affects police use of force. While scholars have applied social disorganization theory to understand why neighborhood context might influence use of force, much of this theorizing and subsequent empirical research has focused exclusively on structural characteristics of an area, such as economic disadvantage, crime rates, and population demographics. This exclusive focus has occurred despite the fact that culture was once an important component of social disorganization theory in addition to structural factors. Moreover, the majority of the theorizing and subsequent research on police culture has neglected the potential influence that neighborhood context might have on officers’ occupational outlooks. The purpose of this dissertation is to merge the structural and cultural elements of social disorganization theory in order to shed light on the development and maintenance of police officer culture as well as to further specify the relationship between neighborhood context and police use of force. Using data from the Project on Policing Neighborhoods (POPN), I address three interrelated research questions: 1) does variation of structural characteristics at the patrol beat level, such as concentrated disadvantage, homicide rates, and the percentage of minority citizens, predict how an officer views his/her occupational outlook (i.e., culture)?; 2) do officers who work in the same patrol beats share a similar occupational outlook (i.e., culture) or is there variation?; and 3) does the inclusion of police culture at the officer level moderate the relationship between patrol beat context and police use of force? Findings suggest that a patrol beat’s degree of concentrated disadvantage and homicide rate slightly influence officer culture at the individual level. Results show mixed evidence of a patrol beat culture. There is little support for the idea that characteristics of the patrol beat and individual officer culture interact to influence police use of force. I conclude with a detailed discussion of the methodological, theoretical, and policy implications as well as limitations and directions for future research.

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Date Created
  • 2016