Taser Research Proposal

Topics: Police, Taser, Police officer Pages: 4 (1107 words) Published: June 24, 2007
Research Proposal

Definition of the Research Problem/Question
The research topic we have chosen to research is Tasers. The use of Tasers has been a very controversial topic in the last few years. Reporters, doctors, and human rights groups have all expressed concern that police officers will use a Taser in situations when no weapon is required and concern has also been expressed over if the Taser is really a less-lethal option. No one claims the use of Tasers to be risk-free but studies have found them comparatively safe. We believe that people opposed to Tasers ignore a body of the reports showing the technology is safe and effective. The research question we hope to answer is: Is the deployment of a Taser a safe and viable option in the use of force continuum in situations that require less than the use of deadly force? From our research question we have developed the following problem statement: Our problem statement is going to be if police officers who use a Taser are less likely to use deadly force than those police officers who do not use a Taser. The two concepts from our problem statement are Taser usage and deadly force. The variable corresponding to the concepts will be Taser and deadly force. The conceptual definition of deadly force in this study is defined as the level of force which is inherently likely to cause death or great bodily injury. The operational definition will be for the purpose of this study, deadly force will be defined as the usage of a handgun during the apprehension of a suspect. The conceptual definition for Tasers in this study is defined as an electrical device used to control an unwilling subject. The operational definition for Taser is a weapon primarily designed to disrupt a subject's central nervous system by means of deploying electrical energy sufficient to cause uncontrolled muscle contractions and override and individual's voluntary motor responses. Importance of the Problem

We believe that the use of...

References: Stockton, Dale. "Less lethal, Not Less Responsible." Law Officer Jan/Feb 2006: 10
Beane, Shawn. "Growing Pains." Law Officer Jan/Feb 2006: 54-59
Vernon, Bob. "Force Options." Law Officer Jan/Feb 2006: 66
Ashley, Steve. "What Gets You Sued Gets You Hurt." Law Officer Feb 2007: 72-75
Connor, Greg. "Essential Elements in Taser Policy & Procedure." Law and Order August 2006: 89-90
Berkman, Robbie. "Taser Today 's Stunning Technology." American Cop May/June 2007: 40-45; 66
Life Saving Defense Technology, Taser International, Inc., http://www.pti.uiuc.edu/pdf/Taser.pdf
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