The use of Early Intervention (EI) systems among law enforcement agencies has rapidly increased in recent years. Despite being highly regarded throughout the field, there have been few evaluations of such systems. In the small number of cases where EI systems have been examined, studies have been limited to individual agencies looking at changes in behaviour at the officer level. Consequently, there has yet to be a large-scale evaluation of the effectiveness of EI systems across departments. Using data collected from the 2003 and 2007 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) surveys, the current study investigates patterns in rates of citizen complaints of use of force among 94 departments that implemented an EI system in the intervening years. Results show that the effectiveness of EI systems may have been overstated. Practical implications, specifically implementation issues of EI systems, and directions for future research are discussed.
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