Research Background

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Research


VALOR Program logo The Deadly Mix is a theory derived from the results of a trilogy of research studies on the dynamic interactions among officers, offenders, and the circumstances during line-of-duty assaults. To reduce violent encounters in which assaults and killings of law enforcement officers take place, society must first understand the dynamics involved in these incidents. The purpose of this new research project is to update and expand information obtained in the three previous studies. If you would like to submit an officer/offender encounter for examination as part of this research project, please visit the website.

Cases for examination include incidents in which there was interaction between the officer and the offender prior to the assault and the officer was assaulted with a firearm, a cutting instrument, or another weapon, including hands, fists, and feet. The offender(s) must have been identified, arrested, tried, and convicted or have pleaded guilty and exhausted all appeals.

LEO Near Miss logo The LEO Near Miss system, developed in partnership with six national policing organizations and associations, was developed to allow law enforcement personnel to share close calls, helping their peers stay safe and prevent tragedies. The Police Foundation leads the implementation of the system with support from the Motorola Solutions Foundation and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

A near miss is a close call and/or unsafe occurrence that could have resulted in a serious injury, a fatality, significant property damage, and/or a crisis if not for a fortunate break in the chain of events. It is an experience through which other law enforcement personnel can benefit and learn. To date, near-miss incident reports have been submitted by officers involved in near misses related to pursuits, attempted ambushes, concealed weapons, warrant service, and vehicle stops. The mission of the LEO Near Miss system is to encourage law enforcement personnel to share their stories and lessons learned in near-miss incidents in order to shield other law enforcement personnel from accidents, injuries, and fatalities, as well as to prevent other community crises. The sharing of a law enforcement professional’s story is an anonymous, secure, nonpunitive, and confidential process. For more information on the LEO Near Miss system, to share your story, or to read recent reports, please visit the website.

National Institute of Justice logo The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice that provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice. NIJ’s research agenda includes the development and evaluation of new and innovative policies, practices, tools, and technologies and the development of performance standards to ensure that equipment is safe and effective.

Officer Safety, Health, and Wellness ResearchNIJ funds research and development efforts in a wide variety of areas to improve officer safety, health, and wellness. NIJ supports work to study and improve officer performance and safety on several fronts. For decades, NIJ has been on the forefront of testing and developing protective equipment for officers, from body armor to roadside visibility aids. NIJ also funds projects to reduce officer traffic fatalities, address stress and trauma, and reduce officer suicide. These efforts are now undertaken under the umbrella of NIJ’s Safety, Health, and Wellness Strategic Research Plan, published in 2016.

Standards and Testing—The NIJ Standards and Testing Program fosters development of equipment standards and related conformity assessment programs that specifically address the needs of law enforcement, corrections, and other criminal justice agencies. The goal is to ensure, to the greatest degree possible, that equipment is safe and reliable and that it performs according to established minimum requirements. Some of these standards are for body armor, some are for ensembles to protect bomb technicians from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and some are for ensembles to protect law enforcement against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear hazards. A list of body armor models tested and found compliant with the NIJ body armor standards can be found at https://www.nij.gov/topics/technology/body-armor/pages/compliant-ballisticarmor.aspx.

Police Use of Force—The use of force by law enforcement officers becomes necessary and is permitted under specific circumstances, such as in self-defense or in defense of another individual or group. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has described use of force in its document Police Use of Force in America as the “amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.” Officers receive guidance from their individual agencies, but no universal set of rules governs when officers should use force and how much. NIJ-sponsored research on the use of force is directed toward providing options to reduce the likelihood of injury to the officers and subjects involved.

International Association of Chiefs of Police logo The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Center for Officer Safety and Wellness was created in 2012 to centralize these efforts by promoting existing resources and encouraging a cultural shift within law enforcement agencies by emphasizing the values of safety, health, and wellness as they impact officer performance.

The Center focuses on all aspects of an officer’s safety, health, and wellness, both on and off the job. Topics that the Center covers range from mandatory vest and seatbelt wear policies to nutrition recommendations and wise financial decision making. Resources developed under these topics include fact sheets, infographics, trifolds, and full reports.



The Center wants to ensure that law enforcement professionals have the resources they need to remain healthy and safe.

For more information on the Center or to access resources, helpful links, and related projects, please visit the website.

final report pdf print image In order to begin to better understand the scope and frequency of injuries sustained by law enforcement officers, the IACP, through a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, conducted a multidepartment assessment of line-of-duty injuries and created Reducing Officer Injuries: A Summary of Data Findings and Recommendations From a Multi-Agency Injury Tracking Study, Final Report . Eighteen different agencies participated in this study and tracked all reported injuries over the course of one year.

This report provides an in-depth review of the data collected during this study and highlights other findings pertinent to injury trends and officer safety considerations. It is intended to serve as a resource for agencies and encourage them to think more critically about departmental injuries and proactive prevention strategies. For a copy of the full report on reducing officer injuries, please visit www.theiacp.org/portals/0/pdfs/IACP_ROI_Final_Report.pdf.


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