Police Integrity Research Group

Fall 2019 Research Assistants for the Police Integrity Research Group posing at the BGSU letters.
Fall 2019 Research Assistants at the BGSU Police Integrity Research Group

BGSU RESEARCHERS STUDY CRIME BY SWORN OFFICERS TO INFORM THE PUBLIC AND 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) for the public good. 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 17,500 criminal arrest cases during the years 2005-2020 involving over 14,550 individual nonfederal sworn law enforcement officers, each of whom were charged with one or more crimes. The arrested officers were employed by 4,953 state, local, and special law enforcement agencies located in 1,845 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 2020 arrest cases are being logged into the database, and we are now fully coding arrest cases from the year 2016 on more than 270 quantitative variables. Coding has been completed on 11,932 criminal arrest cases from the years 2005-2015 involving 9,819 individual nonfederal sworn law enforcement officers, each of whom were charged with one or more crimes. The officers arrested in years 2005-2015 were employed by 3,796 state, local, and special law enforcement agencies located in 1,577 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 for 170 variables on 11,932 criminal arrest cases from the years 2005-2015 involving 9,819 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 3,796 state, local, and special law enforcement agencies located in 1,577 counties and independent cities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The research methodology captures many cases of nonfederal 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. 

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