A Meta-Analysis of the Use of Force in Policing

Darrell L. Ross, East Carolina University

High profile publicized cases of the police use of force in arrest situations have emerged nationally in the past 20 years. These incidents have heightened concern about the police use of force and have spawned numerous research studies in an effort to quantify those arrest variables associated with using of force. Using a meta-analysis methodology, this paper examines 45 empirical use of force research studies in policing since 1980. The analysis will address the nature of the police use of force, patterns in the findings of these studies, the impact of these studies in policing and the community, administrative and policy implications, and considerations for future research.

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Updated 05/20/2006