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

Dispatch: Dispatch to 275. 275, do you copy?

275: 275, dispatch.

Dispatch: Go ahead 275.

275: Suspect in custody. Send EMS.

Dispatch: 275, EMS en route.

Narrator: 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 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 or when a law enforcement officer discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a person.

The Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board approved a task force comprised of representatives from the law enforcement and data-contributing communities.

Their focus was to determine the final scope and content of the National Use-of-Force Data Collection.

Slide: The Task Force

Chief Francis E. Bradley, Sr., Chief of Police, Hualapai Nation Police Department (AZ), Representing Tribal Nations: All parts of this country are represented on this Use-of-Force Task Force.

Our committee is not only committed to providing answers but to collect the data to answer to our people.

Being part of this task force has not only been an honor but it also has taken in to account our country, every one of us. Me being from a small law enforcement agency of 18 people in Indian Country in rural America helps bring about all perspective for law enforcement—not just our big city counterparts and all the rest of the medium-sized agencies and everyone in law enforcement. It brings together all of us.

It wasn't about how big your gun is or how large your agency is or what you do in that agency, it was about the people who we represent.

Slide: Transparency

Chief of Police Gina V. Hawkins, Fayetteville Police Department (NC), Representing National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives: We are a data-driven society. Why would we not have this data for ourselves to utilize as a nation? That data enables us to evaluate our tactics, determine if we need better equipment for our use-of-force data, determine if we need any type of extra training. But more importantly, what that data really does is allows us to be transparent in the force that we use in our everyday situations.

This transparency is not all the time easy. It may involve us owning up to: We could have made a better decision. We could have better policies. We could have better tactics. We could train better.

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.

Slide: Consistency

Sheriff Bob Gulatieri, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (FL), Representing Major County Sheriffs of America: So one of the benefits to the National Use-of-Force reporting is that there'll be consistent information and that law enforcement is defining what is being collected, how it’s being collected, and then how it can be analyzed and interpreted.

So there’s a huge benefit to all agencies. It’s very important that people know what we do and how we do it. Any time 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.

Slide: Purpose

Colonel Douglas A. Middleton, Deputy County Manager for Public Safety, County of Henrico (VA), Chair, Use-of-Force Task Force: What I hope this database will do is bring clarity. To bring clarity not only to the law enforcement community about what is actually happening and what they can do, if anything, to improve, but to bring clarity to our communities, and that we can together—with the community, with the organizations that can be supportive, with the law enforcement agencies—find solutions to those things that bring stress on our society when it involves an action by a police officer.

So I think the clarity of what this will do is going to contribute greatly to bringing more peaceful resolutions to some of these problems because there will be a better understanding.

From my perspective what every law enforcement agency, and particularly its CEO, must ask him or herself: Why would I not put information in here? Because you’re gonna have to articulate that to your communities if you choose not to be a part of this national database, this national system.

This is gonna give a means for every agency to push that same information into a database that gives a national picture. Not just what your agency is doing but something that helps you better see across our country. And what we hope that that will do for CEOs is say, you know, maybe I need to look at something like this, maybe there’s a training thing here or maybe I could improve how we deliver this particular service by looking at the number of incidents of force that occur. So it'll create and stimulate, I believe, a dialogue nationally that’s gonna serve us all in the end.

Slide: The scope of the collection and reporting Use-of-Force data would include:

Slide: Force that results in the death or serious bodily injury of a person, as well as when a law enforcement officer discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a person.

Slide: The definition of serious bodily injury will be based, in part, upon 18 USC 2246 (4). The term, “serious bodily injury” means bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

Slide: For more information contact us at useofforce@fbi.gov

Slide: Or visit us at: www.fbi.gov/useofforce

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