Police Use of Force and Officer Injuries: Comparing Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs) to Hands- and Weapon-Based Tactics

Eugene A. Paoline, William Terrill, Jason R. Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The widespread adoption of conducted energy devices (CEDs) across American police departments over the last decade has been mired in public controversy. It is generally accepted, from a police perspective, that CEDs are safer for officers who can use the weapon at a greater distance, avoiding much of the harm associated with close physical struggles with citizens. Research has generally supported the notion that aggregate levels of officer injuries are reduced following the implementation of CEDs. Unfortunately, multivariate examinations that, in varying degrees, have attempted to compare CED applications to other forms of force (while controlling for rival causal factors) have yet to produce the same consistent results as the pre- and post-CED adoption studies. The current research adds to recent multivariate inquiries by using data collected as part of a national multiagency use of force project to assess the independent effect of CEDs on officer injuries. Based on a series of multivariate models, our results generally find evidence of increased benefits (i.e., lower probability of officer injury) of CEDs when used by themselves. By contrast, in some instances when CEDs were used in combination with other forms of force, there was an increased probability of officer injury. The implications of these findings for police researchers and practitioners are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-136
Number of pages22
JournalPolice Quarterly
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • TASER®
  • conducted energy devices
  • officer injuries
  • police
  • use of force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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