A recent study provides numbers on police convictions over a three year period from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007. While their numbers underestimate the number of crimes for which police are convicted given that they depend upon media coverage of those cases, their raw data serves as a useful starting point for analyzing the behavior of permit holders. First let’s convert their number into a crime rate by police. Note that there were 683,396 full-time law enforcement employees in 2006. With about 703 police crimes per year, there was a rate of 102 per hundred thousand full-time law enforcement employees (see page 421 in “Exit Strategy: An Exploration of Late-Stage Police Crime” by Stinson, Liederbach and Freiburger).
For a comparison with concealed handgun permit holders, the rate of police facing weapons violations is of particular interest. 0.02% = 118/683,396
Compare that to firearms violations of concealed handgun permit holders in Florida. Between October 1, 1987 and January 31, 2011, there were 168 revocations for firearms related violations in Florida (after January 31, 2011 Florida stopped breaking out the firearms related violations by themselves). Over that period of time permits were issued to over 2 million permit holders. 168/2 million = 0.008%. Texas and Michigan show very similar rates of revocations of thousandths of a percentage point for firearms related violations.
But that isn’t really a fair comparison for permit holders because the violation rate for officers is an annual rate and the rate for permit holders is over the entire period of time. In a 2011 Fox News piece, John Lott provided this calculation:
Over the last 38 months, only four permit holders have had their permit revoked for a firearms related violation — an annual revocation rate of 0.0003%. . . .
So putting the police numbers at an annual rate gives you a rate of 0.01%. Both 0.01% or 0.0003% are both extremely low and the violations might not be comparable in that the private individuals might run into problems that a police officer (even one off duty might not run into), but the rate for police is still 23 times higher.
The rate of forceable rape and sodomy is 10.33 per 100,000 per year. By contrast, the forcible rape rate for the general population was 30.9 in 2006.
The aggravated assault rate for officers was 11.49 per 100,000 per year. By contrast, the rate for the general population was 287.5 in 2006.
Also of interest was this statement in the paper.
The conviction rate among officers who were arrested with 18 or more years of service was 89.1%, whereas the conviction rate for officers who were arrested with 17 years or less of service was 77.5%. . . .
As expected, the rate of crime for younger officers is a lot higher than for older ones.
The dissertation is available here.