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Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954

NSU and BSO ‘Armed Encounters’ Researchers Present Findings to Law Enforcement Community

Marguerite Bryan Ph D Deputy Zachary Scott Tammy Kushner Psy D Leslie Taylor Ph D Christopher Perez

Representatives from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) recently presented findings from their research on armed encounters to law enforcement officials and officers from across South Florida. Key findings from their research indicated that increased training for officers early on led to increased chances that officers involved in armed encounters would survive.

With funding from NSU’s Quality of Life Council and the BSO, the study entitled, ‘Armed Encounters Between Law Enforcement Officers and Civilians in Broward County,’ gathered tactical details for specific encounters between police officers and civilians for the period 2000-2008.

The stated purpose of the study was to (1) Identify factors that influence the life or death outcome of Broward County law   enforcement officers involved in encounters with civilians where firearms have been discharged by either the officers, civilians or both; and (2) Disseminate these findings and their policy implications to law enforcement agencies in the municipalities of Broward County.

Key findings/recommendations from the study include (1) The more training that an officer received, initially upon entering the police academy, and then in required yearly additional training hours; the more likely the officers in the sample survived their armed encounters with civilian suspects; and (2) As a policy recommendation, it is suggested that local law enforcement agencies provide increased academy and yearly in-service training hours to their officers to increase the chances of officers surviving violent assaults from civilians.

Law enforcement officials and officers in attendance were from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Sunrise, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Light House Point, Wilton Manors, Sea Ranch Lakes, Margate, Coral Springs, Hollywood, Seminole, Lauderhill and Pembroke Pines Police departments, as well as representatives from the Broward Public Schools district. The presentation was held in the Carl DeSantis Building on NSU’s main campus.

Presenters included Tammy Kushner, Psy.D., executive associate dean of NSU’s Institute for the Study of Human Service, Health and Justice; Marguerite Bryan, Ph.D., NSU; Leslie Taylor, Ph.D., BSO; Deputy Zachary Scott, BSO; and Christopher Perez, graduate student at NSU’s Huizenga School of Business. Gabriel Suciu, Ph.D., from NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and Kelly Armstrong, doctoral student at NSU’s Center for Psychological Studies, participated in the research study as statistician consultant and student researcher, respectively.

For more information on the study and its findings, please contact Tammy Kushner, Psy.D., at or (954)262-7001.