Understanding Police Use of Force: Officers, Suspects, and Reciprocity

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August 2004



Although most police activities do not involve the use of force, those that do reflect important patterns of interaction between officer and citizen. After a brief survey of prior research, this study presents new data and findings to examine these patterns. The force factor applied and the sequential order of incidents of force is included in the analysis. The authors also examine police use of force from the suspect's perspective, and create a new conceptual framework, the Authority Maintenance Theory, for examining and assessing police use of force.


Introduction: the context of police use of force; 1. Police use of force: the history of research; 2. The crucial element: finding research sites; 3. Findings from Miami-Dade Police Department study; 4. The sequential steps in use of force incidents; 5. MDPD: inconsistencies between officer and suspect accounts of the use of force; 6. Findings from Prince George's County Police Department; 7. Findings and summary; 8. Explaining police use of force: the breakdown of an authority maintenance ritual.


Dr Geoffrey P. Alpert received his Ph.D. from Washington State University. For more than twenty years he has specialized in research on high-risk police activities. His work includes police use of force, deadly force, emergency and pursuit driving, racial profiling, police decision-making, early warning systems and the impact of performance measures. Dr Alpert has been awarded numerous research grants from the United States Department of Justice and other governmental funding agencies. He has also worked directly with police departments by assisting with policy development and officer training and he has worked with agencies in Canada, England, France and the United States. Dr Alpert has written more than fifteen books and one hundred research articles. He has been interviewed on the leading television news broadcasts in England and the United States. Dr Roger G. Dunham is Professor and Associate Chair of Sociology at the University of Miami, Florida. His research focuses on the social control of deviance and crime, including police decision-making with respect to use of force, pursuits, and racial profiling. He has co-authored four books on policing with Geoffrey Alpert and has published over fifty professional papers and chapters. Recent co-authored books include, Critical Issues in Policing, 4th edition (2001); Policing Urban America, 3rd edition (1997), and Crime and Justice in America, 2nd Edition (2002). In addition, he has co-authored several research monographs with the Police Executive Research Forum, including Police Pursuits: What We Know (2000) and The Force Factor: Measuring Police Use of Force Relative to Suspect Resistance (1997).


'This book is a valuable resource. The contents could well be useful for officers, instructors and policy makers as well as academics ...'. British Journal of Sociology
EAN: 9780521546751
ISBN: 0521546753
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Studies in Criminolo'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2004
Seitenanzahl: 191 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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