SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article #1: Nowacki, J. S. (2011). Organizational-level police discretion: An application for police use of lethal force. Police Quarterly, 61, 643–668.

Abstract: Research on police behavior suggests that discretion is vital to police decision making. Although discretion can originate from many sources (e.g., officers, situations, structure), relatively few studies examine how organizational variables affect officer discretion. Of the studies that test whether organizational level influences shape discretion, even fewer examine their influence on lethal force. This oversight is notable in light of the overrepresentation of Blacks in lethal force incidents because organizational characteristics and policies may reduce racial disparities in the application of lethal force. Using administrative policy and police department size as proxies for organizational variables, this study tests for organizational effects and examines whether these effects vary by race. Using city-level data from 1980 to 1984, this research examines how organizational limits on discretion affect the volume of lethal force incidents. Negative binomial regression results indicate that administrative policy predicts lethal force incidents for total and Black-specific population models but not White-specific models, and department size predicts lethal force incidents for total and White-specific models but not Black-specific models. Organizational correlates of police discretion seem crucial for understanding officer behavior.

Journal Article #2: Neocleous, M. (2013). Air power as police power. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 31, 578–593.

Abstract: This paper makes a case for understanding air power through the lens of police. After first rethinking a key period in the history of air power (colonial bombing campaigns) as a police mechanism, the paper then moves to consider the impoverished conception of war and police in contemporary critical theory. The final section turns to perhaps the most pressing issue in current air power debates, namely drones, and suggests that a consideration of air power as police power helps us read drones as a continuation of the police logic inherent in air power since its inception.