Police Integrity Research Group

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Police Integrity Research Lab in Room 011A of the College of Health and Human Services Building

BGSU RESEARCHERS STUDY CRIME BY SWORN OFFICERS TO IMPROVE POLICING 

Bowling Green Professor Phil Stinson and his Police Integrity Research Group study the phenomenon of police crime (that is, crime committed by sworn law enforcement officers). Prior research in this area was limited to observational studies and surveys, and no government agencies collect, aggregate, or disseminate information on sworn law enforcement officers who commit crimes. We primarily rely on news articles and court records to locate and track individual criminal cases where sworn law enforcement officers who are arrested for one or more crimes. Our internal research database currently includes information on more than 13,000 criminal arrest cases during the years 2005-2017 involving over 11,200 individual nonfederal sworn law enforcement officers, each of whom were charged with one or more crimes. The arrested officers were employed by more than 4,150 state, local, and special law enforcement agencies located in 1,665 counties and independent cities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

New cases are logged into an object-relational database system, OnBase, and tracked over time to determine numerous outcomes such as final adverse employment status and criminal case dispositions. Currently new 2017 arrest cases are being logged into the database, and we are now fully coding arrest cases from years 2013-2014 on more than 270 quantitative variables. Coding has been completed on 8,006 criminal arrest cases from the years 2005-2012 involving 6,596 individual nonfederal sworn law enforcement officers, each of whom were charged with one or more crimes. The officers arrested in years 2005-2012 were employed by 2,830 state, local, and special law enforcement agencies located in 1,302 counties and independent cities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A restricted use data set of arrest cases from the years 2005-2011 (244 coded variables for 6,724 cases) is available to qualified university-affiliated researchers for secondary data analysis from the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data at the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research.   

THE HENRY A. WALLACE POLICE CRIME DATABASE

The Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database is a publicly-available web-based searchable database. The database includes summary information on 8,006 criminal arrest cases from the years 2005-2012 involving 6,596 individual nonfederal sworn law enforcement officers across the United States, each of whom were charged with one or more crimes. The arrested officers were employed by 2,830 state, local, and special law enforcement agencies located in 1,302 counties and independent cities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The research methodology captures many cases of sworn law enforcement officers who have been arrested. The research is designed to capture the phenomenon of police crime at state and local law enforcement agencies across the United States. It does not, however, capture every case.

The publicly-available database is named for Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965), who promoted progressive ideas in order to give the power back to the people.  As the 33rd Vice President of the United States, Wallace advocated for an informed public and was committed to social justice, equality, and peace within the United States.  He encouraged citizens to take a stand for civil rights and to denounce hatred and injustice.  The purpose of the Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database is to inform the public about crimes committed by nonfederal sworn law enforcement officers across the United States. 

IN THE NEWS

When Cops Commit Crimes: Inside the First Database that Tracks America’s Criminal Cops
VICE News
September 12, 2017

Charging a Police Officer in Fatal Shooting Case is Rare, and a Conviction is Even Rarer
New York Daily News
May 31, 2017

Crime States Should Inform the Public: Trump is Misusing Them to Scare Us Instead
The Washington Post
February 10, 2017

Cops Shoot and Kill Someone about 1,000 Times a Year: What Can Be Done?
Los Angeles Times
December 15, 2016

Why Some Problem Cops Don’t Lose Their Badges
The Wall Street Journal
December 30, 2016

How We Tracked Problem Officers
The Wall Street Journal
December 30, 2016

Police Accountability
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO
October 2, 2016

Ex-Cop Keeps the Country’s Best Data Set on Police Misconduct
FiveThirtyEight
April 22, 2015

Thousands Dead, Few Prosecuted
The Washington Post
April 11, 2015