Exposing police to pepper spray in training: Inciting injury or enhancing officer safety?

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Keywords: 
Learning strategies
Performance standards
Police professionalization
Police training
Safety measures
Training
Oleoresin capsicum
Pepper spray
Performance
Police
Safety
Training
Abstract: 

Occupational health and safety regulations in British Columbia prohibit the practice of exposing police to pepper spray in training. Previous research indicates that pepper spray exposure does not cause serious health problems; that traditional training methods are inadequate; and that exposing police to pepper spray in training enhances officer safety in the field. This study explored how exposure to pepper spray in training affects officer safety. To accomplish this, patrol and traffic personnel from independent municipal police forces in British Columbia were surveyed and interviewed. Quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed that exposure to pepper spray in training enhances the physical performance, decision making, confidence, and knowledge of police when they are exposed in the field; enhances officer safety during non-sanctioned exposures; and does not cause serious health problems. These findings suggest that police training should feature exposure to a variety of less-lethal weapons.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
B
Department: 
School of Criminology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)
Statistics: