Influence of Policy Instruction on Police Use of Deadly Force: Exploratory Study

Influence of Policy Instruction on Police Use of Deadly Force: Exploratory Study

Author: 
Glenn R. Daugherty
Program of study: 
Ed.D./CI
Abstract: 
Police organizations routinely train their officers on the use of deadly force policy and procedures. The topic addressed in this study is that deadly force policy training may be inadequate in combining policy along with discretion in shoot or no shoot situations often resulting in improper use of deadly force. The problem is the training that Illinois State Police (ISP) Troopers receive may not be perceived as adequately including critical thinking and the use of discretion. The purpose of this exploratory case study is to explore retired Illinois State Police Troopers perceptions of the inclusion of critical thinking and use of discretion in their deadly force policy training. Two central questions guide this study are: RQ1: How do retired ISP Troopers perceive the effectiveness of their deadly force training in preparing them for shoot or do not shoot training? RQ 2: How do retired ISP Troopers believe their training adequately includes the application of critical thinking and the use of discretion? This research is a bold endeavor to explore the inner workings of a police department and required the utmost confidentiality measures to protect the officers engaged in the study. Interviews were recorded with the permission of the participants and transcribed into word documents which were collated for similar themes using NVivo 10 software. Four emergent themes resulted from the collected data that revealed that enhanced training, critical thinking, and discretion are important for the best preparation for police deadly force encounters.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this body of work to my father, Charles Eugene Daugherty, who dreamed of having at least one of his five children to become a doctor of something. Well dad, it took me 63 years and though you went on to your higher calling 10 years ago, I hope I did you proud.
Acknowledgements: 
I had been out of formal education for over 30 years before I took my first step on this dissertation journey. I learned through blood, sweat, turmoil, and tears that my professors were correct; this journey was a marathon not a sprint. The dissertation team I was blessed with made my journey a wonderful learning experience that I will cherish for as long as I live. To my mentor, Dr. Elizabeth A. Young, I owe you a debt thank I can never begin to repay. You guided me through the good and bad times and provided me with a wealth of experience and brilliance that kept me on a path that I could not have travelled by myself. You never gave up on me, even when I was being my most difficult. I truly was a tough nut to crack, but even one as thick skulled as I can learn. You never pulled any punches and your honesty, guidance, and teachings will forever be an inspiration to me. To my dissertation committee member Dr. Terry Mors, I wish to express my sincere thanks for all your support and encouragement. Without your guidance I would have had an impossible journey. I want to thank Doctor Kelly Walters who joined my dissertation committee when I lost a committee member. I also owe a very special thank you to Dr. Lilia Santiague who joined my defense when I needed her input the most. To my beautiful and caring wife and soul mate, Denise L. Sims Daugherty, I can never properly express what your strength and faith in me truly means. You put up with more from me than I ever deserved and without your love and strength of character, I would have given up on this journey. To my daughter Elizabeth, my son Jonathan, and my grandson Jayce, I am living proof that it is never too late to strive for the impossible. I thank you all for making my life better than I deserve.