National Use-of-Force Data Collection

Database will collect information about incidents in which force is used by a law enforcement officer that results in the death or serious bodily injury of a person.

Video Transcript

Police-involved shootings and use of force have long been topics of national discussion, but high-profile cases in which subjects died have heightened public awareness of these issues. The opportunity to study use-of-force incidents and discuss their cause is hindered by the lack of enough data to compile nationwide statistics.

Representatives from major law enforcement organizations and local, state, tribal, and federal agencies have been working in collaboration with the FBI to develop the National Use- of-Force Data Collection.

This database collects information about incidents in which force is used by a law enforcement officer that results in the death or serious bodily injury of a person, or when a law enforcement officer discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a person.

Steven R. Casstevens, president, International Association of Chiefs of Police: Well, the IACP is behind this data collection because it's important to our profession. There currently is no national database that has been collecting police use-of-force information. Every law enforcement agency should participate in this voluntary data collection. There are over 18,500 law enforcement agencies in the United States. And if we don't get as many of those agencies as possible entering this data, we're telling an incomplete story.

Francis E. Bradley, Sr., Fort McDowell Police Department: There are a lot of questions that are generated. Not only from the local community but the surrounding communities and jurisdictions around our Indian Country agencies. What's going to happen? When are we going to get answers? How is this situation going to be dealt with? When can we find out? These things that we're talking about protecting, providing, peace keeping in our country is the ultimate goal for all of our community the people within the nation.

John R. Batiste: chief, Washington State Patrol: This process I think is extremely beneficial to law enforcement as a whole. We owe it to our officers to do everything that we can. It's going to be a positive effect for law enforcement in general in my view.

Gina V. Hawkins, chief, Fayetteville Police Department: We're a data-driven society. Why would we not have this data for ourselves to utilize as a nation. So being transparent leaves us vulnerable. But, being vulnerable means that we want you to trust us because we need your support because we work for the community. To be transparent is what builds the trust of the community that we work for and that we work with.

Bob Gualtieri, Sheriff, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office: Anytime that information is not readily available is that that breeds skepticism. Skepticism leads to distrust. When people believe the information, they believe the person who's delivering the information, then they trust what you're doing.

Casstevens: With the launch of the National Use-of-Force Data Collection, there is finally a mechanism available to collect standardized, U.S.-wide police use of force information. The program is voluntary, and thus relies on agencies submitting their use of force statistics, even and perhaps most importantly, during months with zero incidents.

I am calling on my fellow police leaders to submit their agency's data on use of force incidents to the national database.

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