Use of Force by the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department, 1993-1999 (ICPSR 3793)
This study was designed to describe the types and amount of force used by and against the police in Montgomery County, Maryland, for the seven years between January 1993 and December 1999. The researchers collected data from the Montgomery County Police Department's Use of Force Reports and arrest records for this time period. Part 1 contains data obtained from the Use of Force Reports, including information about the characteristics of the force used, injuries and medical treatment, characteristics of the officer and citizen involved, and the time and date of the incident. Part 2 contains data from the arrest records, including variables for location, time, and date of the arrest, the most serious charge, and demographic characteristics of the officer and arrestee. Part 3 contains aggregate data, including rate of force by different arrest characteristics, that were derived from the data in Parts 1 and 2.
One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.
A downloadable version of data for this study is available however, certain identifying information in the downloadable version may have been masked or edited to protect respondent privacy. Additional data not included in the downloadable version are available in a restricted version of this data collection. For more information about the differences between the downloadable data and the restricted data for this study, please refer to the codebook notes section of the PDF codebook. Users interested in obtaining restricted data must complete and sign a Restricted Data Use Agreement, describe the research project and data protection plan, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.
Any 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.
Garner, Joel H., and Edward R. Hickey. Use of Force by the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department, 1993-1999. ICPSR03793-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03793.v1
Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03793.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (98-IJ-CX-0086)
Scope of Study
Universe: Part 1: All Use of Force Reports filed by the Montgomery County Police Department between January 1993 and December 1999. Parts 2 and 3: All adult custody arrests by the Montgomery County Police Department between 1993 and 1999.
Study Purpose: This study was designed to describe the types and amount of force used by and against the police in Montgomery County, Maryland, for the seven years between January 1993 and December 1999. This study was based on official records of the use of force and of arrests maintained by the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD). The overall objectives of this project were to understand what constituted a force incident and how the use of different types of force varied over time and circumstances, including different characteristics of officers, suspects, and arrest situations. This study used research methods commonly applied in health research but rarely used in the study of policing. These methods combined official records of the use of force with information about a base rate of police activity, which in this case was adult custody arrests, to calculate rates of force for different arrest characteristics. It was hoped that the rate of force, which was defined as the number of force incidents per 100 adult custody arrests, would provide a rigorous empirical basis for understanding police behavior, assessing departmental policies and practices, and testing theories about police behavior.
Study Design: Part 1 contains data on 2,660 reports filed by police officers on 2,206 incidents between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 1999, that involved the use of force. These data were collected from Use of Force forms filled out by Montgomery County Police Department officers. Since April of 1992 MCPD officers have been required to complete these reports any time a police officer used force under the following circumstances: (1) there was an injury to an individual, (2) an individual claimed there was an injury as a result of the amount of force used, (3) force was applied by use of a protective instrument, (4) a firearm was discharged, and (5) a departmental canine inflicted an injury on a subject or defendant in conjunction with a search, arrest attempt, or apprehension. In September of 1992 the MCPD expanded the use of force reporting requirement to include (1) any time a police officer used any form of force and (2) whenever a police officer was a victim of any type of force or assault. The MCPD official Use of Force Report form and the departmental use of force policy were revised several times between 1993 and 1999 and the definition of what types of incidents should be reported has not always been the same. However, throughout the 1993 to 1999 period, the MCPD Use of Force Report consistently provided information about the characteristics of the force used, weapon type, injuries and medical treatment, characteristics of the officer and citizen involved, and the time, date, and place of the incident. Part 2 contains data on the 30,209 adult custody arrests that took place in Montgomery County from 1993 to 1999. These data were obtained from Montgomery County Police Department records. The data in Part 3 were derived from the data in Parts 1 and 2. Part 3 contains aggregate data on arrests and the rate of force. The Part 3 data do not include incidents in which force was used against juveniles nor do they include use of force incidents that involved canines. In addition, the data in Part 3 only include one report per use of force incident.
The data in Part 1 were collected from Montgomery County Police Department Use of Force Reports. The data in Part 2 were obtained from Montgomery County Police Department arrest records. The data in Part 3 were derived from the data in Parts 1 and 2.
Description of Variables: Variables in Part 1 include month, year, day of the week and time of use of force incident, race, sex, and age of defendant, type of offense leading to incident, unit or area to which the officer was assigned, officer sex, race, age, and years of service, type of force used by officer and defendant, and injuries sustained by officer and defendant. Variables in Part 2 include month, year, and day of week of arrest, time of arrest, type of offense, police district in which arrest occurred, age, sex, and race of arrestee, and officer sex, race, age, and years of service. Variables in Part 3 provide aggregate data on the use of force by arrest characteristics. Nine arrest characteristics are provided by nine dichotomous variables, and there is one case for every combination of these nine characteristics. These nine characteristics are officer and suspect age, sex, and race, whether the offense leading to the incident was violent, what police district the incident occurred in, and whether it occurred on a weekend. For each combination the other variables provide the number of arrests, number of force incidents, number of incidents that involved weapons, number of incidents with an officer or suspect injury, number of incidents with a suspect injury excluding those obtained from the use of oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, rate of force incidents per arrest, rate of weapon use incidents per arrest, rate of officer and suspect injury incidents per arrest, and rate of suspect injury incidents that did not involve the use of OC spray per arrest.
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2004-10-18
- 2006-03-30 File UG3793.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
- 2006-03-30 File CQ3793.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
- 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
- 2004-11-05 Changes were made to the metadata.
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