Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Criminal Justice, PhD

Committee Chair

Swartz, Kristin

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Campbell, Bradley

Committee Member

Campbell, Bradley

Committee Member

Keeling, Deborah

Committee Member

Paulsen, Derek

Author's Keywords

assaults on officers; social disorganization; spatial; hot spots; census tract; community characteristics


The purpose of the present study was to gain a better understanding of assaults on law enforcement officers to identify correlations and spatial concentrations related to theoretical constructs of social disorganization. The present study was based on official assault on law enforcement officer data from a major metropolitan area within a southeastern state for the years 2010-2019. In addition to bivariate and multivariate statistical testing (e.g., Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple linear regression), multiple spatial analyses were utilized to understand the statistical significance, visualize results, and compare to previous theoretical explanations of crime concentration. The findings revealed that assaults on law enforcement officers are spatially concentrated in census tracts in the downtown urban core that exhibit indicators of social disorganization. More specifically, assaults on law enforcement officers are spatially concentrated within downtown urban core areas with high levels of the following characteristics of social disorganization: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit receivership, vacant housing units, and disrupted families.

Included in

Criminology Commons