Front-line supervisors’ perceptions of less-lethal force policies: Examining the ‘transmission belts’ of police departments

Jason R. Ingram, Robert R. Weidner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study uses survey data from five municipal police agencies to examine sergeants’ attitudes regarding the clarity, discretionary assistance, restrictiveness, and guidance of their departments’ less-lethal force policies. In general, sergeants reported favorable attitudes toward their respective policies. However, this support varied to some extent across types of resistance, with somewhat weaker support for departmental policy in regard to lower levels of resistance (e.g., verbal and passive). Analyses reveal some interdepartmental differences regarding sergeants’ attitudes on policy restrictiveness; while sergeants from one department generally reported that their policy was not restrictive enough, sergeants from another department were more likely to feel that their policy was too restrictive. Finally, this research finds that sergeants’ personal views on the appropriateness of different force options to control resistant citizens varied at times from their department's policy. Implications of these findings for practice and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Crime and Justice
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Keywords

  • Police policy
  • Police supervision
  • Sergeant attitudes
  • Use of force

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