Date of Award

5-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Giblin, Matthew

Abstract

In our society, police officers have been called upon to ensure compliance with the law and preserve social order. To complete this task, there are situations in which officers must use force. Since they must use force in some situations and because not every citizen is cooperative with the police, they are at risk for injury. Multiple studies have shown that tasers are beneficial to police officers in many ways, including a reduction in officer injuries. Most studies, however, observed injuries in only a few departments before and after implementation. This study examines whether or not agencies that authorize the use of tasers have lower injury rates compared to agencies that do not authorize the use of tasers in a large sample. This will be done through a cross-sectional research design using secondary data analysis. The data for this study comes from two sources, the 2008 Uniform Crime Reports and the 2007 Law Enforcement Management Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey. Results showed that the authorization of tasers by police departments was not a significant predictor of police injury rates. Although it is not a significant predictor in this study, an argument can still be made that tasers are effective at reducing injuries to police officers.

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