Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Charles Crawford

Second Advisor

Dr. David Hartmann

Third Advisor

Dr. Barry Goetz

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Rhonda DeLong


Every year several officers die while serving the general public, protecting society from chaos and disorder of crime. Much conjecture surrounds the discussionof why law enforcement officers die in the line of duty and several different studies gave been conducted looking at the different aspects of law enforcement officer death, but limited literature exists exploring law enforcement officer death from a structural perspective.

This study examines in a preliminarily nature, the structural factors that precipitate law enforcement officer deaths between the years of 1995 and 1999 in the United States. In this analysis a theoretical framework reflective of the conflict perspective is employed, specifically testing the economic and minority (racial) threat hypotheses. These hypotheses are tested to measure the relationship between the threat hypotheses and law enforcement officer death rate, from eachof the 50 states, in each of the years in which a death occurred. Further, this research addresses the need for research in the area of law enforcement officer deaths, particularly from the structural perspective. It also has specifically explored the validity of using the conflict theoretical approach in studying law enforcement officer deaths.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Criminology Commons