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Do policy and training changes influence patterns of police use of force? An interrupted time-series analysis

Do policy and training changes influence patterns of police use of force? An interrupted... 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/approachAn 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.FindingsResults 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 implicationsWhen 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/valueThis 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management Emerald Publishing

Do policy and training changes influence patterns of police use of force? An interrupted time-series analysis

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1363-951X
DOI
10.1108/pijpsm-07-2020-0128
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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/approachAn 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.FindingsResults 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 implicationsWhen 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/valueThis 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.

Journal

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 27, 2021

Keywords: Organizational policy; Training; Use of force; De-escalation

References