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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 218180 Find in a Library
Title: Officer Force Versus Suspect Resistance: A Gendered Analysis of Patrol Officers in an Urban Police Department
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice: An International Journal  Volume:35  Issue:3  Dated:March/April 2007  Pages:183-192
Author(s): Thomas D. Bazley; Kim Michelle Lersch; Thomas Mieczkowski
Date Published: March 2007
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the association between police officer gender and the use of force when faced with various types of subject resistance.
Abstract: Results first indicated that the use of force in most police encounters was of the lowest reportable level. Passive resistance was the second most used form of force used by both genders. The most significant difference between male and female officer use of force was the firing of a firearm at a suspect, which was disproportionately used by male officers. The findings also revealed that both female and male officers were likely to employ lower levels of force in response to higher levels of suspect resistance, but female officers applied force levels within a narrower range of justifiable options than did their male counterparts. The findings may suggest stylistic differences between females and males in the performance of patrol officer duties. Three research questions guided the study: (1) what types of subject resistance did female and male officers encounter and with what frequency; (2) what types of force did female and male officers employ and with what frequency; and (3) how did female officer use of force and exposure to subject resistance compare to male officers? The research involved an examination of the use of force by patrol officers in an urban, southeastern U.S. municipal police department during a 1-year period during 2000. Data on 558 officers, 82 of which were female, was collected by the department for its operational needs. Researcher observations were coded into six levels of use of force: (1) handcuffing; (2) use of countermeasures; (3) use of chemical or impact weapons; (4) bitten by police canine; (5) firearm pointed at subject; and (6) firearm discharged. Differences in use of force between female and male officers were analyzed using ANOVA statistical analyses. Future research should further probe suggested stylistic differences in patrol duty responses between male and female officers. Tables, figure, notes, references
Main Term(s): Lawful use of force
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Male female police performance comparisons
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