Exploring patterns of taser use by the police: An officer-level analysis

Justin T. Ready, Michael White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The empirical research on the TASER and other conducted energy devices (CEDs) has been expanding as police departments increasingly adopt them as a force alternative. To date, a number of studies have examined the circumstances in which they are used, their effectiveness in the field, and physiological effects. Much of the research in criminal justice has focused on incident-level health and effectiveness outcomes. Also, a growing number of researchers have begun to study organizational-level changes in policy and management that have emerged as a result of the introduction of this new technology. However, few studies have examined officer-level patterns and variations in TASER use. Although it is important to understand how situational contingencies and departmental policies shape police–citizen encounters, it may also benefit the policing field to understand whether non-users, users and high-frequency users of the TASER differ in meaningful ways. That is the focus of this study. This paper draws on a 2009 survey of 580 police officers who carry the TASER across 10 police agencies in northeast USA. Research findings and policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-204
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Crime and Justice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Conducted energy device (CED)
  • Less-lethal weapon
  • Police use of force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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