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Did de-escalation successfully reduce serious use of force in Camden County, New Jersey? A synthetic control analysis of force outcomes
Criminology & Public Policy  (IF4.333),  Pub Date : 2021-01-07, DOI: 10.1111/1745-9133.12536
Li Sian Goh

Despite the widespread interest that de-escalation training has attracted in law enforcement contexts over the past few years, we know little about its effectiveness in reducing use of force incidents. This study seeks to ascertain the effect of de-escalation training on serious use of force events in Camden, a high-crime and high-poverty city in New Jersey. An analysis of individual officers suggested de-escalation training had no significant effects on serious force, whereas a synthetic control analysis of the entire department suggested that de-escalation training led to a 40% reduction in serious force events. It is suggested that spillover effects between trained and untrained officers may account for the discrepancy.