On January 1, 2019, the FBI launched the National Use-of- Force Data Collection as a voluntary program to gather data on law enforcement use-of-force incidents and provide an aggregate view of the associated circumstances, subjects, and officers involved.
The IACP has supported this effort since its conception and strongly encourages all agencies to participate.
Up to this point, major news outlets have been the only source for use of force statistics in the U.S., having compiled and analyzed their own version of this data since 2015. The FBI’s national data collection is an opportunity for the law enforcement community to take the lead and fill a void in use-of-force reporting. The National Use-of-Force Data Collection will foster more informed conversations around use-of-force incidents and demonstrate law enforcement's commitment to transparency, fair and impartial policing, and community trust.
This can only happen if agencies opt in to participate.
USE OF FORCE INCIDENTS DEFINED
Not all uses of force are reportable to the new system. The only cases where police use of force is reportable to the FBI is where an officer’s use of force results in
- the death of a person,
- the serious bodily injury* of a person, or
- the discharge of a firearm at or in the direction of a person that did not otherwise result in death or serious bodily injury.
*“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.” This definition is based, in part, upon Title 18, United States Code, Section 2246 (4).
NOTE: Police leaders should not wait for a qualifying use-of-force incident to enroll; "zero reports" are equally important and should be filed for each month where no qualifying uses of force occur.
IACP INVOLVEMENT AND SUPPORT
Members should know their interests have been well represented throughout the collection’s development, with IACP participation on the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board and the National Use-of-Force Collection Task Force. Further, IACP Resolution CRC. 11.t16 supports building public trust through effective reporting of police use of deadly force.
HOW TO SUBMIT
Agencies may report to the FBI only through the FBI’s Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP). To apply for a LEEP account, a chief or officer should go to www.cjis.gov and click on “Apply for an Account.” Once the LEEP account is authorized, users may register for the “National Use-of-Force Data Collection.” Use of this portal requires no financial investment and allows agencies and state programs to manage all aspects of their use-of-force data.
The checklist linked at right is available to assist chiefs with this issue. The sample memo can be used by state and regional chiefs associations to urge participation among their memberships.
IACP Law Enforcement Policy Center
Police Chief Magazine Articles