Journal Article

Learning from Police Deaths on Duty: A Case Study

Tim Prenzler

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 4, issue 4, pages 421-431
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Learning from Police Deaths on Duty: A Case Study

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This paper provides an in-depth study of one police officer death on duty in Australia. The paper draws primarily on the detailed Coroner’s inquest and final report into the death of Constable Brett Irwin, who was fatally shot by a career criminal when attempting to execute a warrant. The Coroner found that Irwin’s death was highly preventable. The findings have vital implications for police officer safety in many jurisdictions. They support and embellish the findings from quantitative research: that police must take an extremely cautious and highly organized approach to the routine task of arrest by warrant. In analysing the inquest, the paper goes further, emphasizing how computer-based criminal intelligence should feed into standardized risk management strategies and a much lower threshold for calling in special operations teams.

Journal Article.  5730 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Policing

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