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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99019 Find in a Library
Title: Drawing a Weapon - An Analysis of Police Judgements
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:13  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1985)  Pages:185-194
Author(s): R J Holzworth; C B Pipping
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the factors affecting officers' judgments about drawing their guns in a series of hypothetical situatuions presented to them.
Abstract: The study hypothesized that officers would focus more on the offense and suspect behavior than on a suspect's personal characteristics when considering whether or not to draw their firearms. One female and 12 male uniformed officers, employed by the same agency, were the volunteer subjects. Professional experience among the subjects ranged from 2 to 25 years, with a mean of 8.5 years. A series of hypothetical situations were presented to the officers, and they were asked to indicate the likelihood that they would draw their firearms as a response. Multivariate statistical analyses were used to determine how judgements were related to the available array of probabilistic information items (cues). The more experienced officers were less likely than the inexperienced officers to draw their weapons, and the nature of the offense was generally more salient than suspect behavioral and personal characteristics in influencing the decision to draw firearms. The findings are relevant to officer training and evaluation. They suggest that participatory training exercises can help officers experience and condition their responses to various cues likely to be encountered in actual situations. Study findings are compared with those of previous similar studies. Tabular data and 29 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Police attitudes; Police discretion; Police research; Police weapons use
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