Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the spatial influence of features of the physical environment on the risk of aggression toward law enforcement.

Design/methodology/approach – The spatial analytic technique, risk terrain modeling was performed on felonious battery data provided by the Chicago Police Department.

Findings – Out of the 991 batteries against law enforcement officers (LEOs) in Chicago, 11 features of the physical environment were identified as presenting a statistically significant spatial risk of battery to LEOs. Calls for service within three blocks of foreclosures and/or within a dense area of problem buildings pose as much as two times greater risk of battery to police officers than what is presented by other significant spatial factors in the model.

Originality/value – An abundance of existing research on aggression toward law enforcement is situated from the perspective of characteristics of the suspect or officer. The research advances the field of violence studies by illustrating the importance of incorporating physical features of the environment into empirical studies of aggression.


This article was originally published in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, available at DOI 10.1108/PIJPSM-04-2014-0045.

Included in

Criminology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.