We study the link between police officers' on-duty injuries and their peers' force use using a network of officers who attended the police academy together through a random lottery. On-duty injuries increase the probability of officers using force by 7 percent in the subsequent week. Officers are also more likely to injure suspects and receive complaints about neglecting victims and violating constitutional rights. The effect is concentrated in a narrow time window following the event and is not associated with significantly lower injury risk to the officer. Together, these findings suggest that emotional responses drive the effects rather than social learning.
Holz, Justin E., Roman G. Rivera, and Bocar A. Ba.
"Peer Effects in Police Use of Force."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
State and Local Government: Other Expenditure Categories
Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law