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Officer and Suspect Injuries Associated with Police Use of Force

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $168,448)

Among other purposes, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides funds to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery and to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health. In addition to supporting the goals of the Recovery Act, this project also supports the purposes of the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program by helping to increase the economic efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement activities. This project will address law enforcement technology requirements and priorities in the areas of ' officer safety, public safety, communications, (including interoperable communications) and decision-making, information sharing, electronic crime, less lethal devices, and concealed weapons detection (Select all applicable.) In consideration of the goals, objectives, and intended impact of the Recovery Act, priority consideration has been given to proposals that demonstrate the potential for increasing law enforcement efficiency and effectiveness and/or support job creation or preservation on an expedited time frame. (Insert Project Description ' see guidance below)
(1)Provide a brief description of the project (2-4 sentences)
(2)Provide 1-2 sentences on how the project meets the purposes of the ARRA

Emerging information on the safety of conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) has been reassuring,but this information must be placed into context with the injury risks of other less lethal force options available to law enforcement agencies. Officer injuries, suspect injuries, and injury severity are all important aspects of this assessment. Current information is limited and does not
allow an 'apples to apples' comparison of the safety of commonly available less lethal options. These currently include physical force (strikes, takedowns, etc.), hand held impact weapons (batons), CEWs, oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, and police canines.

In this study investigators will assess and compare the injuries associated with each of these options in several police agencies. All injuries related to less lethal force applications will be reviewed and classified by a physician. The limitations of the few previous works in this area will be addressed. Observed injury rates with each force type will be calculated and compared, and multivariate analysis will identify independent predictors of injury associated with police use of less lethal force. The results will provide a comprehensive assessment of the relative safety of
force options for officers and suspects. The results will be useful for current and emerging / developing less lethal force options and technologies.

This work will fit in well with the goals of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act by providing salary support for researchers and LE agencies to help preserve jobs, as well as to assist local government units in selectionand development of use of force tools and policies. The program also enhances the economic efficiency of law enforcement agencies through reducing officer and suspect injuries and their associated costs and legal liability.

Date Created: September 29, 2009