Police Use of Force: Detectives in an Urban Police Department

Thomas D. Bazley, University of South Florida
Kim M. Lersch, University of South Florida
Thomas Mieczkowski, University of South Florida

Police use of force studies have typically focused on entire police departments or uniformed patrol officers. This study, however, examines the use of force applied by detectives, and is exploratory in nature. While detective personnel are police officers and have the same authority as patrol officers in terms of effecting arrests and using force in the performance of their duties, there are differences in operational responsibilities between these two groups. These operational differences, in turn, can contribute to contextual differences in encounters with the public. Segregating and examining the use of force activities of this police stratum will permit a fuller understanding of the use of fore by police, in general. The data set reflects information from Use of Force Reports submitted by detectives in an urban police department in the southern United States during the year 2000. The data set contains the number of Use of Force Reports submitted and the levels of force used by each detective. In addition, it contains demographic descriptors for each detective including age, race, gender, years of police service, and education. A descriptive analysis of the data set will be presented as well as the results from regression analyses that will explore associations between the use of force and the demographic variables.

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Updated 05/20/2006