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Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs) and Citizen Injuries: The Shocking Empirical Reality

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2011
30 pages
This study seeks to clarify the relationship between conducted energy devices (CEDs) and citizen injuries.
As one of the contemporary additions to the use of force spectrum, conducted energy devices (CEDs) have been surrounded by controversy. Such concerns have fueled a number of studies, many of which have attempted to examine the relationship between CEDs and citizen injuries. This limited body of research, however, has produced inconsistent results and suffers from a number of documented drawbacks. Drawing on data collected as part of a national multiagency use of force project, the current study analyzes nearly 14,000 use-of-force incidents across 7 agencies, over 2,600 of which involve a CED, to assess the potential impact of CEDs on citizen injuries. In doing so, a series of multivariate statistical models are employed that isolate CED cases and compare them to a number of both hands-on and weapon-based tactics. Unlike previous research, which often highlights the beneficial aspects of CEDs in relation to injuries, the findings generally show an increased risk between the use of CEDs and citizen injuries. As such, more research is needed before deriving any conclusions as to the “safeness” of CEDs, especially in relation to the choice between using a CED or an alternative means of dispute resolution (either hands-on physical force or another weapon). (Published Abstract)

Date Published: April 1, 2011