The Introduction of Tasers and Police Use of Force: Evidence from the Chicago Police Department

42 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2018 Last revised: 17 Feb 2022

See all articles by Bocar Ba

Bocar Ba

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeffrey Grogger

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

In March 2010, the Chicago Police Department changed its Taser policy, issuing the weapons to patrol officers instead of largely restricting their use to sergeants. We used that policy change to obtain difference-in-difference estimates of how the availability of Tasers affected the types of force employed by police, the total number of use-of-force incidents, injury rates per incident, the total number of injuries, and the race distribution of civilians involved in use-of-force incidents. The policy change initially led to a large increase in the use of Tasers, with limited substitution from other types of force. After a period of re-training, substitution between Tasers and other types of force, both greater and lesser, increased. Police injuries fell, but neither injury rates nor the number of injuries to civilians were affected. There is no evidence that Tasers led to a reduction in police use of firearms.

Suggested Citation

Ba, Bocar and Grogger, Jeffrey T., The Introduction of Tasers and Police Use of Force: Evidence from the Chicago Police Department (January 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24202, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3102020

Bocar Ba (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeffrey T. Grogger

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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