Officer Support for Use of Force Policy: The Role of Fair Supervision

Maarten Van Craen*, Wesley G. Skogan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Police use of force is an issue of great concern, even in democratic societies. Recent events in the United States and Europe reinforce older lessons that legitimate policing is both important and hard to achieve. This article adds to our understanding of how a fundamental aspect of police organizations—supervision—might contribute to a better justified use of force by the police. We examine the relationship between fair supervision (internal procedural justice) and officers’ support for restrictions on their use of force. Our findings suggest that supervisor modeling can provide an important linkage between the two. The results also suggest that fair supervision fosters support for restraint in the use of force through greater moral alignment with citizens and increased trust in the general public. The implications of this for research and police practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-861
Number of pages19
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • fair supervision
  • internal procedural justice
  • modeling
  • moral alignment
  • trust
  • use of force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law


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