The Militarization of Police's Eyes, Ears, and Hands: The 1033 Department of Defense Program and Police Safety Outcomes
Carriere, Kevin Robert
The current state of race relations in Baltimore, Ferguson, and New York have brought to light the issues of police legitimacy and trust with police officers and the citizens they serve to protect. The results of these conflicts have brought to light the militarization of local police, where officers are being provided with unused equipment from the government’s war chest. But why are these police being heavily armed? Is there truly a threat? Using data on police equipment purchases provided by NPR and assaults on police officers provided by the FBI, this investigation analyzes the effects of purchases on the count of assaults on police officers. Negative binomial regressions on state-month level data shows that the compounded summation of surveillance purchases have a negative, but substantively insignificant, effect on assaults across both linear and quadratic models, while military grade weapons purchases exhibit a significantly positive increase on the risk ratio of assaults under a quadratic model. Results are discussed in light of psychology research on procedural justice and trust of law enforcement, and implications for the policy arena are developed, recommending a decrease in the program’s use in regards to weapon-based purchases. Future work continuing this analysis with stronger controls, more data points, and other datasets are considered.
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DEMYSTIFYING "MILITARIZATION": A PARTIAL ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE'S "1033" EQUIPMENT TRANSFER PROGRAM ON POLICE OFFICER SAFETY OUTCOMES Wickes, Geoffrey Coleman (Georgetown University, 2015)While considerable popular and academic ire has been dedicated to the rather nebulous concept of "police militarization," very little research attempts to examine the tangible outcomes of issuing military equipment to law ...
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