Students for Urban Data Systems

at Carnegie Mellon University

Criminal Justice Work Night highlight: do police from smaller units use force more often?

| 0 comments

At our first Work Night a few weeks ago, SUDS members dug into data on crime and criminal justice–particularly from the 2013 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey. One student, Kee Won Song, pulled together some interesting initial insights and a sweet chart in just a few hours. He writes:
I am interested to see if we can identify factors that contribute to use of force incidents.  Specifically, I am interested to see if factors like employee demographics, education level of employees, size of department, participation in academic research (which we might also use to assign a score for ‘transparency’), budget, training methods, number of specialized units, use of data/computers in evaluating performance etc. have any affect on the frequency of use of force.  I did not get to analyze many of these factors, however, this is one figure that I produced that plots use of force incidents (expressed as incidents per employee) against total employees (full-time plus part-time):

LEMAS surveyIt’s hard to say that anything substantive can be gleaned from the visualization but it might allow us to further focus on smaller departments that have a high use of force rate (or identify outliers for further analysis).

Kee Won Song is a full-time MPM student at CMU, who is also completing Masters of Sustainability at Chatham; his interests include researching the impacts of unconventional oil and gas extraction on air quality, particularly in underprivileged communities.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.