Phoenix [Arizona] Use of Force Project, June 1994 (ICPSR 6626)
In 1994, the Phoenix Police Department, in conjunction with Rutgers University and Arizona State University, designed and implemented a study on the use of force by and against Phoenix police officers. This study was concerned with describing the amount of force used in different arrest situations and determining the extent to which officer, suspect, offense, and arrest situation characteristics can predict the amount of force used. Data were collected primarily through a one-page, two-sided survey instrument given to police officers. In addition, screening interviews regarding the use of force during the arrest were conducted with both officers and suspects to assess the reliability of the officer surveys. During the screening interviews, officers and suspects were asked brief questions about the use and extent of force by officers and suspects. In the officer survey form, six potential areas of force were identified: voice, motion, restraints, tactics, weapons, and injuries. Three dimensions of weapons use--possession, threatened use, and actual use--were also recorded. Basic demographic information on officers and suspects, descriptions of the arrest, and information regarding injuries were also collected.
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.
Garner, Joel, Tom Schade, John Hepburn, and Aogan Mulcahy. PHOENIX [ARIZONA] USE OF FORCE PROJECT, JUNE 1994. ICPSR version. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University/Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University [producers], 1994. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1996. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06626.v1
Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06626.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (92-IJ-CX-K028)
Scope of Study
Most of the variables have missing data. In coding the surveys, it was not possible for the researchers to distinguish between "no response" and "a response of no action." For most items, such as officer tactics, the researchers believe that the failure to record any action can reasonably be interpreted as meaning no tactic was used. However, in the data, both are coded as missing.
Study Purpose: In 1994, the Phoenix Police Department, in conjunction with Rutgers University and Arizona State University, designed and implemented a study of the use of force by and against Phoenix police officers. This study was concerned with describing the amount of force used in different arrest situations and determining the extent to which officer, suspect, offense, and arrest situation characteristics can predict the amount of force used. Unlike much of the prior research, which is concerned with defining excessive force, the central concern of the principal investigators was to measure the amount of force used by and against police officers in a sample of arrests. Thus, a series of variables were constructed that are sensitive to capturing variation in the full range of force that would be common in most arrests.
Study Design: The researchers collected data primarily using a two-page survey form completed by Phoenix police officers following most adult custody arrests made during a two-week period beginning June 13, 1994. and officer and suspect characteristics. The survey was developed during the fall of 1993, tested during a one-day feasibility study in February 1994, and subsequently revised for use. In addition, the researchers constructed a screening survey of officers and a sample of suspects booked in the Maricopa County Jail to test the reliability of the survey responses and to obtain additional details about the nature of the arrest that could not be obtained in the officer survey form. The results of these screening interviews are contained in Part 2, Police Screen Interview Data, and Part 3, Suspect Screen Interview Data. Both the officer surveys and the officer/suspect interviews were voluntary and anonymous. No officer or suspect identifiers were collected, and the only information obtained about the arrests came from the survey forms. These procedures were implemented to encourage participation and truthful responses and to protect the anonymity of research subjects. With the data, the researchers were able to compare the detailed information in the officer survey with the measures of force and to develop multivariate statistical models for evaluation.
Sample: The data collection is a nonrandom sample of adult arrestees and the arresting police officers in Phoenix, Arizona. Officer surveys were completed for 1,585 of 1,826 arrests during June 13-27, 1994. Screening interviews were attempted with all officers and suspects arrested during 20 randomly chosen three-hour periods in the second week of data collection. Of the 347 suspects entering the jail during the 20 three-hour periods, screening interviews were conducted with 338. Screen interviews were also obtained from 337 officers.
personal interviews and self-enumerated questionnaires
Description of Variables: In the survey forms completed by the police officers, six potential areas of force were identified: voice, motion, restraints, tactics, weapons, and injuries. Three dimensions of weapons use--possession, threatened use, and actual use--were also recorded. Basic demographic information and characteristics of the officers and suspects were collected, as well as descriptions of specific behavioral aspects the arrest, how the police were mobilized, the nature of the offense, where the offense occurred, and information regarding injuries were also collected. In the screening interviews, officers and suspects were asked brief questions regarding the use and extent of force by officers and suspects, including the suspect's reasons for resisting arrest or not resisting.
Response Rates: Surveys were obtained from officers in 1,585 of 1,826 adult arrests (87 percent) during the two-week period beginning June 13, 1994. Of 347 suspects entering the jail during the 20 three-hour periods, screening interviews were obtained from 338 (97 percent). Screen interviews were also obtained from 337 officers (97 percent).
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:
- Standardized missing values.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 1996-07-13
- 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 4 and flagged as study-level files, so that they 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.
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