Document Type




Format of Original

22 p.

Publication Date



Sage Publications

Source Publication

Criminal Justice Policy Review

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1177/0887403412452424


While numerous studies have examined the causes, correlates, and control of police use of force, many questions remain. This study contributes to the literature on police use of force by examining the role of officers’ background characteristics, job characteristics (patrol area and shift assignment), and arrest activity in explaining variation in the frequency with which officers use force. Analyses were conducted on 1,084 police officers employed in a large municipal police department. Use of force data were obtained from 477 official departmental reports from 2010. Results suggest that a small proportion of officers are responsible for a large proportion of force incidents, and that officers who frequently use force differ in important and significant ways from officers who use force less often (or not at all). Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.


Accepted version. Criminal Justice Policy Review, Vol. 24, No. 5 (September 2013): 551-572. DOI. © 2013 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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