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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Police officer use of force in the United States is a growing concern to the American people. Although not based on solid empirical evidence, President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing proposed several policies that address violent policing and the use of excessive force. In this study, I examine the relationship between policy recommendations and variations across police departments in their reported use of force.

This study draws on measures of use of force, community policing, education, and officer demographics from the 2013 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey, combined with county-level demographic information from the American Community Survey, and information on local crime rates from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Cross-sectional findings reveal that more college-educated officers are associated with lower counts of use of force, that officer diversity is not strongly related to use of force, and that most community policing indicators are associated with higher counts in use of force.


First Advisor

Anthony Paik

Second Advisor

Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

Third Advisor

David Cort

Included in

Criminology Commons