Testing Hiring Standards, Training, and Compensation as Predictors of Officer Use of Lethal Force

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Bradley, Emma
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
The existing body of research on police officer use of lethal force involving both armed and unarmed persons is sparse, capturing only a narrow aspect of these events (e.g., race dynamics) and lacking other factors (e.g., organizational variables). To address this, the present author conducted an archival study in which the following variables were collected: (a) state mandated officer training hours (e.g., de-escalation training), (b) minimum officer age and education requirements in each state, and (c) average officer salary by city and state. The author hypothesized that there would be a negative correlation between state-level variables and the number of officer-involved lethal shootings of both unarmed and armed persons. Analyses failed to support these predictions. Implications and directions for future research on officer use of lethal force are discussed.
Behavioral and Health Sciences, police lethal force, police shootings, police use of force, Michael Brown, social psychology, cognitive psychology, police training, police salary, industrial organizational psychology, i.o. psychology, police, guns, gun violence, police department