An Occupational-Exposure Model of Police Homicide Victimization

Robert J. Kaminski, National Institute of Justice

Theory and research on the structural determinants of homicides of police largely mirrors theory and research on homicide generally. A limitation of this work is that it does not fully consider how variation in the structure of police work impacts officer exposure to risk, net of broader community-level factors. Borrowing from the lifestyle-exposure and routine activity perspectives, a model is developed that considers jointly theories of criminality and theories of victimization. A model including both community-level and organization-level variables that affect opportunities for victimization of police should explain a greater amount of the variance in police homicides than previous models. Cross section and panel models for rare-event counts (generalized estimating equations) are used to assess the relative importance of the organizational and community-level factors explaining variation in police homicides across 200 large U.S. cities and over time.

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Updated 05/20/2006