Police Uses of Deadly Force

NIJ national study – Police Uses of Deadly Force

This study, regarding police use of deadly force and behaviors by officers, involved two phases: 1) an overview of deadly force policies and 2) intensive investigation of police deadly force  in four cities (Oakland, Newark, Birmingham, and Miami). A mixed research methodology was used to capture police attitudes regarding police use of deadly force and statistical analyses were performed regarding risks of an officer being involved in a use of deadly force incident. Interviews with officers about sequential decision-making in actual and averted police-citizen encounters are presented.

Police Uses of Deadly Force:  Badge and the Bullet

The book was nominated for the National Book Award and presents a four phase police decision model shaping police decisions to use deadly force: anticipation, entry, dialog, final frame and aftermath. Tactical and personal factors associated with police deadly force are described and a model to avert deadly force situations is presented. Both statistical and ethnographic frames related to police deadly force are offered. The book has been used as a foundation for police training and by agencies seeking to avert many police uses of deadly force through “early” decision making.

Police Gunshot Detection

NIJ Study of Secures Gunshot Detection Evaluation System

This study, conducted in Newport News and Hampton, VA describes the effectiveness of  an acoustic, gunshot detection system. The method is cited as “promising” in by Crimesolutions.org. The study describes both a high rate of accurate discrimination in experimental settings and elevated rates of false positive errors from extraneous noises from blown tires, hammers, etc. which resulted in un-needed police responses.

Police Law Enforcement Integrity

Managing law Enforcement Integrity Summary of Findings

This study, conducted with the California Peace Officer Standards and Training, presents surveys of training, screening, and organizational models to help law enforcement agencies manage law enforcement integrity.

Police Forensic Computer Investigations


This project involved the creation of a forensic lab, including the training of local law enforcement regarding extraction of forensic data from a range of computer devices. The project offered a variety of training innovations and has pioneered legal discussions regarding the balance of interests related to security gains from forensic investigations and protective 4th amendment civil liberties.

Murder Patterns

After New Town: http://thecrimereport.org/2013/01/23/2013-01-taking-aim-at-urban-violence-and-mass-shootings/

This article was presented in the 2013 Congressional Crime Summit and was published in The Crime Report.  It distinguishes between two murder patterns: Mass Shootings and Urban Violence. The two patterns are described as differing in frequency and lethality per incident. Strategies to prevent both types of violence are described.


Dr. Scharf presents at LSUHSC and UMC Grand Rounds (June 2021) his examination of gun violence and murder in New Orleans. Presentation found here.