Maguire, E. R., & Paoline, E. A. (2023). Non-fatal injuries among police officers during use of force encounters. Occupational Medicine. Advance online publication.


Background: Occupational injuries are common in police work due to routine exposure to conflict, violence, accidents, and other hazards. However, little is known about the factors associated with nonfatal job-related injuries among police officers.

Aims: To study the factors associated with nonfatal job-related injuries among Tucson, Arizona police officers during encounters involving the use of force.

Methods: Data were analysed on all use of force cases involving Tucson police officers from January 2018 through June 2020. Logistic regression models were used to assess the factors that influence the likelihood of officer injuries.

Results: Overall, 11.2% of officers involved in a use of force encounter were injured. Multivariate analyses reveal that defensive physical resistance by the suspect increases injury risk among officers. When suspects assault officers or others during the encounter, the risk of officer injury also increases significantly. Certain types of force used by police, such as hands-on tactics and TASER® use are also associated with increased risk of injury among officers. The age and race of the suspect are not associated with the likelihood of injury among officers.

Conclusions: Certain suspect behaviours and use of force modalities increase the risk of injury among officers. Understanding these risk factors can help employers put in place appropriate measures to reduce the risk of occupational injuries among police officers.

Year: 2023
Language: English
Type: Journal article