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Injuries Produced by Law Enforcement Use of Less-Lethal Weapons: A Prospective Multicenter Trial

Award Information

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Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2004, $104,071)

The investigators plan to demonstrate (1) the proportion of suspects who sustain injuries after less-lethal weapons(LLWs) have been used during their apprehension by law enforcement officers, and (2) the severity pattern of those injuries. A prospective multi-center trial will involve up to 12 qualifying law-enforcement agencies across the nation that use less lethal kinetic impact munitions and electrical incapacitation devices. A tactical physician already affiliated with the law enforcement agency will review each case. The physician will identify and classify any injuries sustained due to LLW use, complete a case report form and submit the form to a central study site. The unique status of tactical physicians, who bring medical expertise and act within the loop of confidentiality for both law enforcement and medical care, will facilitate this study. The central study site database will be analyzed to determine the percentage of suspects who suffer injuries after less lethal weapon deployment, and the severity of those injuries. This will be the first study of its kind, featuring physician level review of 100 percent of LLW uses in the participating agencies.


Date Created: September 20, 2004