July 27 -- FBI Releases 2019 Participation Data for the National Use-of-Force Data Collection. According to the FBI, 5,043 federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies submitted use-of-force data to the National Use-of-Force Data Collection for 2019. Agencies submitted data for each qualifying instance of an officer using force. Qualifying uses of force include any action that resulted in the death or serious bodily injury of a person, or the discharge of a firearm at or in the direction of a person. If no qualifying incidents occurred, agencies submitted a zero report for that month. Only agencies that submitted at least one incident report or zero report for 2019 were included in this total.
The FBI developed the National Use-of-Force Data Collection at the request of major law enforcement organizations that noted the lack of nationwide statistics on the topic. Participation by law enforcement agencies is entirely voluntary. In 2019, 5,043 out of 18,514 federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated and provided use-of-force data. The officers employed by these agencies represent 41% federal, state, local, and tribal sworn officers in the nation.
Press release: https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-2019-participation-data-for-the-national-use-of-force-data-collection
Participation details for federal agencies and states can be found on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer. https://crime-data-explorer.fr.cloud.gov/officers/national/united-states/uof
Click on map for state details. Excel list of enrolled/participating agencies by state available.
July 15 -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asks OMB to approve the renewal of its National Use-of-Force Data Collection and invites the public to provide comments by August 14, 2020.
The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program initiated a new data collection in January 2019 for law enforcement agencies to provide information on incidents where use of force by a law enforcement officer has led to 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.
When a use-of-force incident occurs, Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies provide information to the data collection on characteristics of the incident, subjects of the use of force, and the officers who applied force in the incident. Agencies positively affirm, on a monthly basis, whether their agency did or did not have a use-of-force incident that resulted in a fatality, a serious bodily injury to a person, or a firearm discharge at or in the direction of a person.
Police-involved shootings and use of force have long been topics of national discussion, but a number of high-profile cases in which subjects died or were injured during law enforcement encounters have heightened awareness of these incidents in recent years. The opportunity to analyze information related to use-of-force incidents and to have an informed dialogue is hindered by the lack of nationwide statistics. The National Use-of-Force Data Collection will facilitate important conversations with communities regarding law enforcement actions in relation to decisions to use force and works in concert with recommendations from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Given a growing desire among law enforcement organizations to increase their own transparency and embrace principles of procedural justice, this collection will expand the measure to a broader scope of use-of-force incidents to include nonfatal instances.
There is no legal mandate to participate in this collection; however, the FBI vetted this topic through its Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Advisory Policy Board (APB) for approval. The CJIS APB is a committee comprised of representatives from the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who advise the FBI Director on matters related to the criminal justice information systems the CJIS Division manages. The APB meets semi-annually and provides recommended actions on policy and technical issues, to include the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. On December 3, 2015, the CJIS APB made the following recommendations that were signed by the FBI Director in February 2016.
[Not mentioned in the FBI Supporting Statement: Title 34, Section 12602 of the U.S. Code, in PL 103-322 signed by President Clinton on September 13, 1994, mandates the following:
(a) The Attorney General shall, through appropriate means, acquire data about the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers.
(b) Data acquired under this section shall be used only for research or statistical purposes and may not contain any information that may reveal the identity of the victim or any law enforcement officer.
(c) The Attorney General shall publish an annual summary of the data acquired under this section.
Also not mentioned in the FBI supporting statement: On June 16, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13929: Safe Policing for Safe Communities -- section 3 of the E.O. states:
(a) The Attorney General shall create a database to coordinate the sharing of information between and among Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies concerning instances of excessive use of force related to law enforcement matters, accounting for applicable privacy and due process rights.
(b) The database described in subsection (a) of this section shall include a mechanism to track, as permissible, terminations or de-certifications of law enforcement officers, criminal convictions of law enforcement officers for on-duty conduct, and civil judgments against law enforcement officers for improper use of force. The database described in subsection (a) of this section shall account for instances where a law enforcement officer resigns or retires while under active investigation related to the use of force. The Attorney General shall take appropriate steps to ensure that the information in the database consists only of instances in which law enforcement officers were afforded fair process.
(c) The Attorney General shall regularly and periodically make available to the public aggregated and anonymized data from the database described in subsection (a) of this section, as consistent with applicable law.
(d) The Attorney General shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, allocate Department of Justice discretionary grant funding only to those law enforcement agencies that submit the information described in subsection (b) of this section.
As of June 2020, a total of 6,837 agencies covering 439,936 law enforcement officers were enrolled in the National Use-of-Force Data Collection, representing a response rate above 40 percent.
The National Use-of-Force Data Collection began collecting data from federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies on January 1, 2019. As of June 2020, the data collection has a coverage rate of approximately 40 percent as defined by the total law enforcement officer population. Based upon the agreed-to Terms of Clearance, the FBI is preparing an initial release of information that details response percentages for key variables. Once higher coverage rates are attained, the FBI plans on incremental releases of variables to demonstrate the practical utility of the data collected within the specified Terms of Clearance (see below).
Previously, OMB approved the National Use-of-Force Data Collection under the following Terms of Clearance. For the first year of collection:
A. If the coverage rate is 80 percent or greater and the item non-response is 30 percent or less, no conditions apply to the dissemination of the results.
B. If the coverage rate is between 60 percent and 80 percent or the item non-response is greater than 30 percent, the FBI will not release counts or totals, but may release ratios or percentages.
C. If the coverage rate is between 40 percent and 60 percent, the FBI may release only the response percentages for the key variables across the entire population and for subpopulations which represent 20 percent or more of the total population.
D. If the coverage rate is less than 40 percent, the FBI will not disseminate results.
For the purpose of these conditions, “coverage rate” refers to the total law enforcement officer population covered by the National Use-of-Force Data Collection. In addition, “coverage rate” will be considered on both a state-by-state basis, as well as a national scale. “Key variables” include subject injuries received and type of force used.
The FBI continuously works with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners and major law enforcement organizations in an effort to increase participation. To increase participation in the National Use-of-Force Data Collection, the FBI has promoted the data collection in the following ways:
• Collaborated with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and Campus Safety Meetings.
• Collaborated with the Department of Justice Tribal Access Program.
• Partnered with internal and external entities to publish articles highlighting the National Use-of-Force Data Collection.
• Attended numerous speaking engagements/conferences to speak on the National Use-of-Force Data Collection.
• Produced a flyer containing an overview of the National Use-of-Force Data Collection.
• Continuous stakeholder engagement with state UCR Program Managers.
• Developed the Use of Force webpage located at http://www.fbi.gov/useofforce
• Created a series of “how to” videos demonstrating how to successfully complete specific tasks within the use-of-force portal application.
National Use-of-Force Data Collection webpage: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr/use-of-force
UofF data on Crime Data Explorer. https://crime-data-explorer.fr.cloud.gov/officers/national/united-states/uof
FBI submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202006-1110-001
Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for narrative on purpose, uses, methods, and plans. [Note: While Supporting Statement Parts A and B are current as of June 30, 2020, their upload dates are incorrect. The dates for the Supplementary Documents are correctly labeled.]
Federal Register notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/07/15/2020-15271/agency-information-collection-activities-proposed-ecollection-ecomments-request-national
Point of contact: Amy C. Blasher, Unit Chief, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation Amy.Blasher@ic.fbi.gov. (304) 625-4830
The AEAStat primer on how to respond to a call for comments on a federal data collection is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806