The purpose of this paper is to examine police shooting accuracy and the factors that influence whether officers hit, or miss, their intended target.Design/methodology/approachDescriptive statistics explore both incident-level and hit rate shooting accuracy in single officer/single suspect shooting incidents in the Dallas Police Department between 2003 and 2017. Multiple regression models analyze the predictive utility of officer, suspect and situational factors on the two accuracy outcomes.FindingsConsistent with prior research, the results demonstrate that officers are often inaccurate in officer-involved shooting (OIS) incidents. Additionally, several factors emerged as significant predictors of shooting accuracy.Practical implicationsThe results are discussed in terms of the practical implications for training and accountability.Originality/valueIt has been more than a decade since the last academic study investigated this important topic using actual OIS data. Acknowledging the general dearth of this literature, this study explores what factors contribute to shooting accuracy.
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 23, 2019
Keywords: Police use of deadly force; Hit rates; Police training; Police accountability