skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 163011 Find in a Library
Title: Multivariate Analysis of Individual, Situational and Environmental Factors Associated With Police Assault Injuries
Journal: American Journal of Police  Volume:14  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1995)  Pages:3-48
Author(s): R J Kaminski; D W M Sorensen
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 46
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined factors associated with the likelihood of police officer injury once an assault on the officer has occurred.
Abstract: This study used Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) assault data originally collected by Uchida and Brooks (1990). Information on 1,550 nonlethal police assaults that occurred from January 1984 through December 1986 was obtained from BCPD official records. The unit of analysis was the individual assault, defined as "any overt physical act that the officer perceives or has reason to believe was intended to cause him harm." Categories of variables measured were officer and assailant attributes, situational characteristics, and environmental characteristics. Logistic regression was used to estimate the likelihood of officer injury. A number of policy implications were derived from the findings. First, the data show that the majority of assault incidents involved unarmed attacks against the police and that such attacks were more likely to result in officer injury than armed attacks; moreover, most officers responded to assailants with physical force. Batons, firearms, or other weapons were rarely used. Thus, greater officer proficiency in unarmed defensive tactics may help reduce the number of police assault-related injuries. Second, since fewer years of service were associated with increases in risk of injury, police departments might consider providing additional inservice training for patrol officers with less than 5 or 6 years of experience. The findings also show that very short and very tall officers were more likely to be injured when assaulted than officers of average height. This suggests that defensive- tactics instructors may need to tailor additional strategies to increase these officers' effectiveness during use-of-force encounters. Fourth, substantial numbers of assaulted officers reported being victims multiple times within the study period, and actions taken by assailants prior to assaulting officers show that the risk of injury was, to some degree, associated with suspect motivation. Other findings were that officers assaulted by nonwhite suspects were more likely to be injured than officers assaulted by white suspects; officers who were college graduates were less likely to be injured than officers without a degree. Domestic disturbances were found to be no more dangerous than traffic stops, legal interventions, or "other" calls for service and were less dangerous than general disturbances. Policy implications are drawn for each of these findings. 2 figures, 3 tables, 51 notes, 79 references, and appended supplementary data
Main Term(s): Assaults on police
Index Term(s): Police policies and procedures; Police safety
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.