261686 Factors associated with law enforcement shooting deaths: Implications for health policy development

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Amy J. Thompson, PhD, CHES , Department of Health and Recreation Professions, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
James H. Price, PhD, MPH , Department of Public Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Joseph A. Dake, PhD, MPH , Department of Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Karen Teeple , Department of Health and Recreation Professions., The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Nicola Perry, MS , Wellness Department, Glendale Community College, Glendale, AZ
In 2011, 159 officers in the United States were killed in the line of duty. Out of those killed, 63 died from a firearm. This represents a 7% increase of deaths by firearm. The purpose of this study was to investigate state variations in law enforcement deaths from 2005-2011 by analyzing 36 variables. These variables include such factors as total firearm related deaths (homicide, suicide, unintentional, legal intervention), various firearm control laws (22 laws) including whether or not states have concealed carry laws or assault weapon bans, poverty index, racial percentages, per capita alcohol consumption, drug arrest rates, number of firearm dealers, number of pawn shop dealers and violent crime rates were analyzed. A series of descriptive analysis, correlations and t- tests were conducted using SPSS 17.0. Out of all of the variables analyzed only states that permit the open carrying of a firearm had a statistically significant impact on officer death rates. States that allow the carrying of a firearm with no permit had a death rate of 13.67 while states that require a permit had a death rate of 4.34. (t=4.69, df=47, p<0.001). This study adds a new dimension to existing research on firearm related deaths by examining the effects of firearm laws and a variety of independent variables that may be predictive of law enforcement death. Such data can be used to help design public health interventions and local, state, and national advocacy initiatives to reduce injury and mortality in law enforcement officers.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify factors associated with law enforcement firearm deaths. Idenitfy the prevalence of law enforcement firearm deaths.

Keywords: Injury Risk, Firearms

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have publshed over 40 articles and gun violence is my primary area of expertise.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.