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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98845 Find in a Library
Title: Police Killings in Perspective
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1985)  Pages:227-232
Author(s): J C Hackler; C T L Janssen
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Statistics on officers killed in the line of duty in Canada were examined for 1961-84 to determine the nature of police death trends.
Abstract: The number of police killed through criminal acts over the 23 years has ranged from a high of 12 in 1962 to a low of 0 in 1963. Increases in the size of the police force over the study period indicate a marked downward trend in the number of police killed per 1,000. This trend is notable in view of the steady increase in the per capita homicide rate among the general population during the same period. The number of police killed in 1984 would appear to reverse this trend, but the departure from the past is not so drastic as to permit a definitive conclusion. Police seem to face a higher risk of homicide than the comparable group of males age 20 to 49 in the general population. Studies of public attitudes do not indicate growing hostility toward police; on the contrary, there is a danger that police may misperceive public opinion and overreact. Overdramatization of these events may influence the more unstable and irrational elements in the population and stimulate further problems. Additionally, negative police response to emotional situations could damage the image of an agency which seeks to provide a reasoned and objective response to a variety of crisis situations. Data examined here are compatible with a police policy favoring a measured and moderate response to crises involving police deaths. Two figures and 24 references are included.
Index Term(s): Canada; Crime patterns; Crime rate studies; Crime Statistics; Homicide; Police deaths; Police policies and procedures; Police research; Public Opinion of the Police
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