Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2016


Recent events in Ferguson, MO and North Charleston, SC have brought the way in which police officers use force, especially deadly force to the forefront of discussion around the nation; therefore, understanding what leads to officer involved shootings is of the utmost importance. It is often hypothesized that when officers are placed in districts that are known to be violent they become hypervigilant and thus more likely to shoot suspects. To better understand this relationship, the current research examined whether serious violent crime incidents (n = 16,693) increase the likelihood of later officer involved shootings (n = 93) in nearby locations in the days following a serious criminal event. Data from Philadelphia between the years 2013 and 2015 were analyzed using a modified version of the Knox close-pair method. Results showed the likelihood of an officer involved shooting increased by 22 % (p < .05) within three weeks and half-a-mile away following a violent crime incident. The patterns uncovered lend support that officers might be more attentive and anxious soon after a violent incident.