Armed encounters between police and citizens in broward county implications for policy and practice
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Armed Encounters between Police and Citizens In Broward County: Implications for Policy and Practice. Southern Criminal Justice Association (SCJA) Clearwater, Florida September 29 th – Oct. 1 st , 2010 Tammy Kushner, Psy.D., Principal Investigator Marguerite Bryan, Ph.D.

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Armed encounters between police and citizens in broward county implications for policy and practice

Armed Encounters betweenPolice and Citizens In Broward County:Implications for Policy and Practice

Southern Criminal Justice Association (SCJA)

Clearwater, Florida

September 29th – Oct. 1st, 2010

Tammy Kushner, Psy.D., Principal Investigator

Marguerite Bryan, Ph.D.

Criminal Justice Institute, NSU

Kelly Armstrong, Doctoral Student/Research Assistant

Center for Psychological Studies, NSU

Zachary Scott, Training Instructor, ICJS

Leslie Taylor, Ph.D.

Broward Sheriff’s Office


Background to the study

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

All police departments review reports of officers killed in the line of duty – Allows them to provide training that is current

Agencies are unable to capture a complete picture of how they respond to armed threats

The current study undertakes an analysis of armed encounters between police and citizens in Broward County (2000-2008)

Obtain data from a set of variables pertaining to officer safety and investigate 3 dimensions of armed encounters


Goals of the study

GOALS OF THE STUDY

  • The current project is a pilot study in Broward County to investigate the factors associated with outcomes of officer armed encounters.

  • The goal is to conduct a larger and more in-depth records analysis of law enforcement armed encounters through a records analysis of armed encounters kept by law enforcement agencies across the state of Florida.


Objectives of the study

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Carry out a records analysis of the actions of officers and suspects in Broward County in situations of armed threats

Identify possible factors that influence officer and suspect outcomes in encounters of force

Review and assess the training content and methods used to prepare law enforcement officers for encounters of force


Review of the literature

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Relevant literature of assaults on police mostly deal with studies on alleged police brutality from citizen complaints

and police use of excessive force:

-One of the earliest Kerner Report (1960) documenting use of police brutality

-Other studies that followed investigating community interactions discussed situation from a political and sociological perspective – Jacobs and O’Brien (1998)

-Seminal body of research from several field studies by DOJ (1999)


Review of the literature1

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Consistent findings across several of these studies:

-Use of force by police is low

-Police use of force is typically at the lower end of the force spectrum

-Use of force occurs when police is making an arrest and the suspect is resisting

Supportive but not conclusive patterns:

-Use of force unrelated to an officer’s age, gender, ethnicity

-Use of force occurs when police are dealing with persons under the influence

-Small number of officers disproportionately involved in use of force incidents


Review of the literature2

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Literature on police use of force to inform police training:

-Characteristics associated with the prevalence and severity of use of force by police (Garner, Maxell and Heraux, 2002)

-White (2002) identified situational predictors of police shootings

-DOJ (FBI) study (2006) violent encounters and felonious assaults on LE officers

Recommendations for research:

-Incidence of wrongful use of force by police

-Impact of differences in police org., policies, training

-Influence of situational characteristics


Dimensions of armed encounters

DIMENSIONS OF ARMED ENCOUNTERS

Individual characteristics – gender, race, assigned unit, educational level, years of experience, combat experience

Situational factors – Time of day, # of officers on the scene, type of weapon used, distance from suspect, hit percentage, kind of uniform worn by officer

Departmental factors – Policy on discharge of weapons, # of training hours, percentage of female officers/minority officers


Analysis of preliminary data

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Calculating the Mean

Number of years officer has served – 8.1716, n =134

Distance of officer from the offender – 20.1759, n =108

Age of offender – 31.31, n =101

Officer experience (years) – 7.88, n =139

Age of officers – 34.38, n =134

Distance from officer (feet) – 15.68, n =139


Analysis of preliminary data1

Analysis of Preliminary Data

“Whether officer was aware that offender had a weapon” and “Did officer survive?”


Analysis of preliminary data2

Analysis of Preliminary Data

“Whether officer was aware that offender had a weapon” and “Did officer survive?”

Results of the 2X2 table indicate that there is no statistically significant relationship between the two factors (Chi-Square = 0.749,df=1, p-value =0.387). We might say they are independent (not associated).

Since 50% of the cells have expected counts less than 5 the above Chi-Square may not be a valid test, therefore either the exact Chisq or the Fisher’s Exact test should be considered (p = 0.622). There is no statistical association between the two variables.

Probability of dying:

For officers who were aware that the offender had a weapon, the probability of death is 2% (1/48 = 0.0208). For officers who were not aware that the offender had a weapon, the probability of death is 5.3% (3/56 = 0.0535)

21/2 times that for officers who were aware!


Analysis of preliminary data3

Analysis of Preliminary Data

“Whether officer was aware that offender had a weapon” and “Did officer survive?”

We established the independence of the above factors, thus they are not associated.

Since there was no significant association there it is not necessary to report the amount of association, i.e. the relative risk, or the approximation of the relative risk, which is the odds ratio (OR).


Analysis of preliminary data4

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Whether offender discharged firearm – Did officer survive?


Analysis of preliminary data5

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Whether offender discharged firearm – Did officer survive?

Results of the 2X2 table indicate that there is a statistically significant association between the two factors (Chi-square =4.891, p-value = 0.027, for df=1).

Since we have a “0” value we should consider the exact Chi-sq or Fisher’s Exact test that led to a p-value = 0.058 >0.05.

Therefore we should conclude that the officer’s survivability is independent of “suspect discharged firearm”.

For a better conclusion we need some more data.

Probability of dying:

The probability of death for an officer is 7% (5/68 = 0.07352) when the offender discharged a weapon and 0% (0/64 = 0) when the offender did not discharge a weapon.


Analysis of preliminary data6

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Body armor worn – Did the officer survive?


Analysis of preliminary data7

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Body armor worn – Did the officer survive?

The results indicate that there is no statistically significant association between wearing body armor and the officer’s survivability (Chi-square= 1.837, p-value = 0.175, df=1).

Since 50% of the cells have expected counts less than 5, the (Asymptotic) Chi-Square may not be a valid test, therefore using both the exact Chisq and the Fisher’s Exact test we obtained a p-value=0.215, which show the same direction (non-significance).

Probability of dying:

The probability of death of an officer is 2.5% (2/80 = 0.025) when the officer is wearing body armor and 8% (2/23 = 0.0869) when the officer is not wearing one.

Three times higher if they wear a body armor!


Analysis of preliminary data8

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Type of weapon used – Did the officer survive?


Analysis of preliminary data9

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Type of weapon used – Did the officer survive?

The results of the 2X2 table indicate that there is a statistically significant association between the type of weapon used and officer survivability (Chi-square = 7.695, p-value = 0.006, df=1)

Since 50% of the cells have expected counts less than 5, the (Asymptotic) Chi-Square may not be a valid test. Using both, exact Chisq and the Fisher’s exact test we obtained same significant association, despite a “0” element (p = 0.0095). However the “0” element is covered by the expected cell frequency of 2.98, different from 0.

The amount of association cannot be calculated because the “0” cell value.

Probability of dying:

There is a 9% probability of death of an officer (5/54 = 0.09259) when a firearm was used and a 0% probability (0/80 = 0) when other kinds of weapons are used.

Nine times higher than if the suspects used other weapons!


Analysis of preliminary data10

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Whether or not armor prevented injury – Did officer survive?


Analysis of preliminary data11

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Whether or not armor prevented injury – Did officer survive?

The results of the 2X2 table indicate that there is a statistically significant association between whether or not wearing an armor prevented injury and the officer’s survivability (Chi-square = 6.000, p-value = 0.014, df=1).

Since 50% of the cells have expected counts less than 5, the (Asymptotic) Chi-Square may not be a valid test. Using both, exact Chisq and the Fisher’s exact test we obtained same significant association, despite a “0” element (p = 0.0259). However the “0” element is covered by the expected cell frequency of 2.33, different from 0. The amount of association cannot be calculated because the “0” cell value.

Probability of dying:

For officers who were prevented from injury because they were wearing body armor, there is a 0% probability of death (0/35 = 0) and a 16% probability of death (4/25 = 0.16) for those that armor did not prevent injury.

Sixteen times higher than the cases when armor prevents injury!


Analysis of preliminary data12

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Whether officer discharged firearm – Did officer survive?


Analysis of preliminary data13

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Whether officer discharged firearm – Did officer survive?

Results of the 2X2 table indicate that there is a statistically significant association between whether the officers discharged firearms and their survivability (Chi-square = 8.565, p-value = 0.003, df=1). Since 50% of the cells have expected counts less than 5, the (Asymptotic) Chi-Square may not be a valid test. Using both, exact Chisq and the Fisher’s exact test we obtained same significant association, despite a “0” element (p = 0.01). However the “0” element is covered by the expected cell frequency of 2.69, different from 0. The amount of association cannot be calculated because the “0” cell value.

Probability of dying:

There is almost a 0% probability of death (0/85 = 0) of death when officers discharged their weapon and almost a 10% probability of death (4/37 = 0.0975) when they do not.

Ten times higher than the cases when officers discharge firearms!


Analysis of preliminary data14

Analysis of Preliminary Data

How deputies responded to a call – Did officer survive?


Analysis of preliminary data15

Analysis of Preliminary Data

How deputies responded to a call – Did officer survive?

Results of the 2X2 table indicate that there is no statistically significant association between whether the officer was on a call for service or another kind of call and their survivability (Chi-square = 0.556, p-value = 0.456, df=1).

The exact Chi-sq and the Fisher’s exact test show the same lack of association (p = .651)

Probability of dying:

There is a 3% probability of death (2/55 = 0.0363) when the officer is assisted when responding to a call and an almost 7% probability of death (3/43 = 0.0697) when they are not assisted.

When the officers are not assisted the probability of dying is twice as when the officer is assisted.


Analysis of preliminary data16

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Whether officer was on a call for service or other call – Did officer survive?


Analysis of preliminary data17

Analysis of Preliminary Data

Whether officer was on a call for service or other call – Did officer survive?

Results of the 2X2 table indicate that there is no statistically significant association between whether the officer was on a call for service or another call and their survivability (Chi-square = 0.0176,

p-value = 0.895, df=1).

Two-sided Fisher’s Exact test indicate the same result.

Probability of dying:

Officers who are on a call for service had a 4% probability of death (2/42 = 0.04761) and officers on other kinds of call had a 5% probability of death (3/56 = 0.05357).

Nearly the same probability of dying.


Current survey

CURRENT SURVEY


Current survey1

CURRENT SURVEY


Implications for policy and practice

IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY AND PRACTICE

  • Practical implications no different from previous studies

  • Impact how police officers are trained to reduce serious injury and death

  • Increases the likelihood of citizens to be better protected

  • Influence departmental policies in training, standard operating procedures

  • Community benefits because better training for officers leads to less dangerous encounters with suspects and citizens


Contribution of the study

CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY

  • Law enforcement training departments teach about armed encounters

  • Law enforcement officers analyze possible armed scenarios and respond to armed encounters

  • Law enforcement agencies can make changes to their policies and departmental profile to help address the issue of armed encounters


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