National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Police Use of Deadly Force, 1970-1979 (ICPSR 9018)

Principal Investigator(s): Matulia, Kenneth J.


The circumstances surrounding "justifiable homicides" by police are the focus of this data collection, which examines occurrences in 57 United States cities during the period 1970-1979. Homicides by on- and off-duty police officers serving communities of 250,000 or more were studied. Data were collected through a survey questionnaire sent to police executives of the 57 cities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation supplied data on justifiable homicides by police, including age, sex, and race data. The variables include number of sworn officers, number of supervisory officers, average years of education, department regulations about issues such as off-duty employment, uniforms, carrying firearms, and disciplinary actions, in-service training, pre-service training, firearms practice, assignments without firearms, on-duty deaths, and off-duty deaths. The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice to the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


Dataset - Download All Files (3.362 MB)

Study Description


Matulia, Kenneth J. Police Use of Deadly Force, 1970-1979. ICPSR09018-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (79-NI-AX-0131)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    fatalities, firearms, homicide, police response, police training, police use of deadly force, police weapons, policies and procedures, violence

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1970--1979

Universe:    The universe consists of justifiable homicides by police in United States cities of 250,000 population or more from 1970-1979.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Data Source:

mailback questionnaires


Original ICPSR Release:   1985-01-11

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