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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193489 Find in a Library
Title: Spatial Analysis of American Police Killed in the Line of Duty (From Atlas of Crime: Mapping the Criminal Landscape, P 212-220, 2000, Linda S. Turnbull, Elaine Hallisey Hendrix, eds, et al., -- See NCJ-193465
Author(s): Robert J. Kaminski; Eric S. Jefferis; Chanchalat Chanhatasilpa
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Oryx Press
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Sale Source: Oryx Press
4041 North Central at Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85012
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter focuses on the felonious killings and accidental deaths of police.
Abstract: It is difficult to conclude with any degree of certainty which factors are or are not associated with the risk of American State and local law enforcement officers being killed in the line of duty. The hypothesis is that the southern United States, because it has an unusually high rate of homicides in the general population, would have a higher risk of officers being killed feloniously in the line of duty. The data on line-of-duty deaths come from the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits program. For the period of 1985 to 1997, 1,478 line-of-duty death cases were filed with the program eligible for benefits: 745 of these involved intentional killings of officers, while the remaining 733 were accidental line-of-duty deaths. The data were geocoded by zip code and then aggregated to the county level using the ArcView-GIS package. Results indicated that metropolitan areas, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago tended to experience the most fatalities. When showing the number of felonious killings standardized by the county population, the southern region appeared to have an unusually high mortality rate compared to the rest of the nation. The overall distribution of accidental deaths of officers appears more evenly dispersed than the incidents of felonious killing, but again, urban areas tend to experience more accidental deaths. When standardized by county population, the south and counties in the mountainous West appeared to experience the highest accidental mortality rates. The spatial scan statistic (SaTScan) provides a more sophisticated analytical method to determine whether apparent clusters are real or whether they could have occurred by chance alone. Approximate locations of four statistically significant clusters were identified during each analysis. The analysis identified New York County (Manhattan) as the most likely cluster for felonious killings. The southern region was identified as the most likely cluster for accidental deaths. The results of these analyses suggest those areas other than the South also present significant risk to officers in terms of being killed feloniously. 7 figures, 14 notes, 46 references
Main Term(s): Geographic distribution of crime; Police deaths
Index Term(s): Assaults on police; Crime patterns; Demographic analysis of crime; Fatalities; Homicide trends; Police safety
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