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Police Pursuits and the Use of Force: Recognizing and Managing "The Pucker Factor"--A Research Note (From Police Misconduct: A Reader for the 21st Century, P 291-303, 2001, Michael J. Palmiotto, ed. -- See NCJ-193774)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2001
13 pages
This study analyzed force used by police officers after a pursuit of a suspect as part of the officer's effort to gain control of the suspect.
The data were collected as part of a larger research project that included four jurisdictions: the Metro-Dade Police Department (Miami, FL); the Omaha Police Department (Nebraska); the Mesa Police Department (Arizona); and the Aiken County Sheriffs Office (South Carolina). In addition, data were collected from jail inmates in three of these cities or the neighboring areas. At each site, police officers were sampled and asked to complete survey questionnaires that queried them on their attitudes and experiences regarding suspect pursuit and the use of force. Suspects who ran from the police were interviewed in Omaha, Miami, and South Carolina. The requirements for completing use-of-force or control-of-persons reports were similar for the sites; at each site, an injury, a report of injury, or the use of any force beyond normal control and handcuffing without resistance required an officer report. Data for Aiken County covered 1993 and 1994; the Metro-Dade information dated from 1990 to 1994; and the Omaha pursuits were conducted from 1992 to 1994. Pursuit forms were not collected for the Mesa Police Department. The study found that most officers acted professionally at the termination of the pursuit when taking the suspect into custody; however, some became anxious at the end of a pursuit and tended to "pull the suspect out of the vent window" to make an arrest. Suggestions for reducing such unprofessional behavior include enhanced training, supervision, and accountability systems. The authors recommend that if possible, an officer other than the primary pursuit driver should take physical custody of the suspect. 5 tables and 18 references

Date Published: January 1, 2001