Effects Of Less Lethal Weapons On Injuries In Police Use Of Force Events

933 words - 4 pages

Police use of force describes the amount of force an officer has to use in order to get an unwilling suspect to comply with his/her orders. Lethal force has resulted in serious injuries of the police, citizens or both. The option to use less lethal weapons such as conducted energy devices (CEDs) like Tasers or oleoresin capsicum (OC), also known as pepper spray has been suggested based on studies and research. It is believed these less lethal weapons will reduce the number of injuries to police and citizens. Research was conducted to see if less-lethal weapons would cause less injury, but still act as an effective method in controlling resistant suspects.
The purpose of this study was ...view middle of the document...

To provide a consistent system for measurement, resistance was categorized into two types. Physical resistance was described as fleeing on foot and muscle tensing. Non-physical resistance was described as refusing to follow directions and sitting or lying down. Another variation between the departments was the type of force police used. Dichotomous measures of the physical force used by police officers were created. The physical force could have included the use of hands, feet, batons or flashlights, a chemical agent like OC, or conducted energy devices.
Two sets of analyses were carried out on injuries to officers and suspects. They were a set of cross-sectional estimates for injury outcomes across all 12 departments, and time-series estimates of the effect of CED adoption on the monthly incidence of injuries in 2 departments (Austin, TX and Orlando, FL) for which data was available on times before and after these departments adopted these weapons. Specific equations were applied in the study to compare and evaluate the two analyses. In the first set of analyses, there was an assessment of the cross-sectional relationship between individual, situation, and agency level variables of use-of-force events on the odds of suspect or officer injury. The second set of analyses assessed the effect of adopting CEDs on the monthly incidence of injuries to suspects and officers by estimating cross-sectional time-series models for Orlando and Austin.

Tables and figures were used to display the results of this study. Injury to police officers was more prevalent than the sample average if physical force was used by the police and if a suspect physically resisted but prevalence of officer injuries did not vary much by OC use. The...

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