SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Police

756

A geographically-resolved, multi-level Bayesian model is used to analyze the data presented in the U.S. Police-Shooting Database (USPSD) in order to investigate the extent of racial bias in the shooting of American civilians by police officers in recent years. In contrast to previous work that relied on the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports that were constructed from self-reported cases of police-involved homicide, this data set is less likely to be biased by police reporting practices. County-specific relative risk outcomes of being shot by police are estimated as a function of the interaction of: 1) whether suspects/civilians were armed or unarmed, and 2) the race/ethnicity of the suspects/civilians. The results provide evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being {black, unarmed, and shot by police} is about 3.49 times the probability of being {white, unarmed, and shot by police} on average. Furthermore, the results of multi-level modeling show that there exists significant heterogeneity across counties in the extent of racial bias in police shootings, with some counties showing relative risk ratios of 20 to 1 or more. Finally, analysis of police shooting data as a function of county-level predictors suggests that racial bias in police shootings is most likely to emerge in police departments in larger metropolitan counties with low median incomes and a sizable portion of black residents, especially when there is high financial inequality in that county. There is no relationship between county-level racial bias in police shootings and crime rates (even race-specific crime rates), meaning that the racial bias observed in police shootings in this data set is not explainable as a response to local-level crime rates.

Concepts: Scientific method, United States, Relative risk, Crime, White American, Police, Bayes factor, Constable

171

Policing is generally considered a high-risk profession for the development of mental health problems, but this assumption lacks empirical evidence. Research question of the present study is to what extent mental health disturbances, such as (very) severe symptoms of anxiety, depression and hostility are more prevalent among police officers than among other occupational groups.

Concepts: Psychology, Epidemiology, Research, Mental disorder, Empirical research, Police, Constable, Police officer

158

Lead (Pb) is a toxic substance with well-known, multiple, long-term, adverse health outcomes. Shooting guns at firing ranges is an occupational necessity for security personnel, police officers, members of the military, and increasingly a recreational activity by the public. In the United States alone, an estimated 16,000-18,000 firing ranges exist. Discharge of Pb dust and gases is a consequence of shooting guns.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Toxicology, Photography, Police, Conscription, Information security

132

Prior research suggests that United States governmental sources documenting the number of law-enforcement-related deaths (i.e., fatalities due to injuries inflicted by law enforcement officers) undercount these incidents. The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), administered by the federal government and based on state death certificate data, identifies such deaths by assigning them diagnostic codes corresponding to “legal intervention” in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases-10th Revision (ICD-10). Newer, nongovernmental databases track law-enforcement-related deaths by compiling news media reports and provide an opportunity to assess the magnitude and determinants of suspected NVSS underreporting. Our a priori hypotheses were that underreporting by the NVSS would exceed that by the news media sources, and that underreporting rates would be higher for decedents of color versus white, decedents in lower versus higher income counties, decedents killed by non-firearm (e.g., Taser) versus firearm mechanisms, and deaths recorded by a medical examiner versus coroner.

Concepts: United States, Federal government of the United States, U.S. state, Source code, A priori, Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal government

122

In the United States, state firearm ownership has been correlated with homicide rates. More than 90% of homicides of law enforcement officers (LEOs) are committed with firearms. We examined the relationship between state firearm ownership rates and LEO occupational homicide rates.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Appeal, Police, Law of the United States, Common law, Federal Bureau of Investigation

112

To update previous examinations of racial/ethnic disparities in the use of lethal force by US police.

Concepts: Police

110

Police agencies in Canada and elsewhere have received much criticism over how they respond to persons with serious mental disorders. The adequacy of training provided to police officers on mental health issues and in particular on recognizing indicators of serious mental disorders has been a major concern. This paper describes the process that led to the development of a new brief mental health screener (interRAI Brief Mental Health Screener, BMHS) designed to assist police officers to better identify persons with serious mental disorders. The interRAI BMHS was developed in collaboration with interRAI, an international, not-for-profit consortium of researchers. The government of Ontario had previously partnered with interRAI to develop and implement the Resident Assessment Instrument for Mental Health (RAI-MH), the assessment system mandated for use on all persons admitted into inpatient psychiatric care in the province. Core items on the interRAI BMHS were obtained through analysis (N=41,019) of RAI-MH data together with input from representatives from health care, police services, and patient groups. Two police services in southwestern Ontario completed forms (N=235) on persons thought to have a mental disorder. Patient records were later accessed to determine patient disposition. The use of summary and inferential statistics revealed that the variables significantly associated with being taken to hospital by police included performing a self-injurious act in the past 30days, and others being concerned over the person’s risk for self-injury. Variables significantly associated with being admitted included abnormal thought process, delusions, and hallucinations. The results of the study indicate that the 14-variable algorithm used to construct the interRAI BMHS is a good predictor of who was most likely to be taken to hospital by police officers and who was most likely to be admitted. The instrument is an effective means of capturing and standardizing police officer observations enabling them to provide more and better quality information to emergency department (ED) staff. Teaching police officers to use the form constitutes enhanced training on major indicators of serious mental disorders. Further, given that items on the interRAI BMHS are written in the language of the health system, language acts as common currency between police officers and ED staff laying the foundation for a more collaborative approach between the systems.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Mental health, Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Schizophrenia, Psychiatry, Police

49

Distracted driving is one of the most significant human factor issues in transport safety. Mobile phone interactions while driving may involve a multitude of cognitive and physical resources that result in inferior driving performance and reduced safety margins. The current study investigates characteristics of usage, risk factors, compensatory strategies in use and characteristics of high-frequency offenders of mobile phone use while driving. A series of questions were administered to drivers in Queensland (Australia) using an on-line questionnaire. A total of 484 drivers (34.9% males and 49.8% aged 17-25) participated anonymously. At least one of every two motorists surveyed reported engaging in distracted driving. Drivers were unable to acknowledge the increased crash risk associated with answering and locating a ringing phone in contrast to other tasks such as texting/browsing. Attitudes towards mobile phone usage were more favourable for talking than texting or browsing. Lowering the driving speed and increasing the distance from the vehicle in front were the most popular task-management strategies for talking and texting/browsing while driving. On the other hand, keeping the mobile phone low (e.g. in the driver’s lap or on the passenger seat) was the favourite strategy used by drivers to avoid police fines for both talking and texting/browsing. Logistic regression models were fitted to understand differences in risk factors for engaging in mobile phone conversations and browsing/texting while driving. For both tasks, exposure to driving, driving experience, driving history (offences and crashes), and attitudes were significant predictors. Future mobile phone prevention efforts would benefit from development of safe attitudes and increasing risk literacy. Enforcement of mobile phone distraction should be re-engineered, as the use of task-management strategies to evade police enforcement seems to dilute its effect on the prevention of this behaviour. Some countermeasures and suggestions were proposed in the design of public education campaigns and driver-mobile phone interaction.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Risk, Laptop, Mobile phone, Police, Text messaging, Push-button telephone

44

To compare the change in illicit opioid users' risk of fatal drug-related poisoning (DRP) associated with opioid agonist pharmacotherapy (OAP) and psychological support, and investigate the modifying effect of patient characteristics, criminal justice system (CJS) referral, and treatment completion.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Law, Crime, Criminal law, Criminal justice, Punishment, Police, Corrections

38

This study examines cultural differences in ordinary dishonesty between Italy and Sweden, two countries with different reputations for trustworthiness and probity. Exploiting a set of cross-cultural tax compliance experiments, we find that the average level of tax evasion (as a measure of ordinary dishonesty) does not differ significantly between Swedes and Italians. However, we also uncover differences in national “styles” of dishonesty. Specifically, while Swedes are more likely to be either completely honest or completely dishonest in their fiscal declarations, Italians are more prone to fudging (i.e., cheating by a small amount). We discuss the implications of these findings for the evolution and enforcement of honesty norms.

Concepts: Experiment, Sweden, Criminal law, Cultural studies, Human behavior, Italy, Police, Dishonesty