Police use of force is a controversial practice on both the political stage and by scholars of criminal justice. Scholarly research has highlighted best practice for police departments’ use of force policies. Diverging from these policies may produce ineffective and harmful use of force practices within departments. Because of these potential consequences of police departments diverging from research-based evidence, it is necessary to identify when recommended policy is not being utilized. The purpose of this study is to identify whether there are points of dissent or congruence between criminal justice scholars and police departments with regards to use of force policy. Efforts have been made to empirically identify best practices of use of force policy. The findings of this study indicate that points of dissent do exist in the policies of police departments in the U.S. and the policy recommendations of criminal justice scholars. The implications of these findings include reform to the use of force policies of police departments to more accurately reflect the policies recommended by scholars in the use of force.
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