Dec 27 -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI's) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division invites comments to OMB by January 28, 2021 regarding its proposal to continue the National Use-of-Force Data Collection for three years. (While the FBI had requested a three-year extension in 2020, in light of controversies in January 2021 OMB granted only a one-year extension so that the new Administration could provide input on a longer extension, including any terms for the FBI to carry out.)
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 facilitates 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.
The goal of this data collection on law enforcement officer use of force is to produce a national picture of the trends and characteristics of use of force by a law enforcement officer for law enforcement and the communities they serve. The collection and reporting include uses of force that result 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. The data collected includes information on the circumstances, subjects, and officers surrounding the incident. The data collection focuses on information that is readily known and obtainable by law enforcement with the initial investigation following an incident rather than any assessment of whether the officer acted lawfully or within the bounds of department policies.
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 October 5, 2021, there were 7,696 federal and nonfederal agencies that provided data for calendar year 2021 to the FBI’s National Use-of-Force Data Collection. In 2021, the National Use-of-Force Data Collection achieved a response rate above 50 percent for the first time. Based on current terms of collection, the UCR program will continue with releasing response percentages for key variables and other analysis that fall within condition C:
A. If the coverage rate is 80 percent or greater and the item nonresponse 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 nonresponse 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.
The FBI is requesting that all federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies submit monthly reports of use-of-force incidents, to also include Zero Reports if no law enforcement use-of-force incident occurred to better qualify any existing national trends.
Access to the raw data within the National Use-of-Force Data Collection is restricted to contributing law enforcement agencies and FBI personnel supporting the National Use-of-Force Data Collection. A sanitized data set from submitted National Use-of-Force Data Collection incidents will be created using industry standards to ensure that the information cannot be linked back to specific individuals while still allowing raw data to be used for statistical research purposes.
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 (UoF) Data Collection website: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr/use-of-force
UoF data on Crime Data Explorer (through Sept 2021): https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/le/uof
FBI submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202111-1110-003
Click IC List for data collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this website.
FR notice inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/12/27/2021-27995/agency-information-collection-activities-proposed-ecollection-ecomments-request-national
Relevant recent reference documents:
Congressional instructions to Attorney General, Justice Department, and FBI regarding National Use of Force Data Collection --
Omnibus FY 2021 Appropriations report https://www.dropbox.com/s/5zlq35ypvogddbx/Omnibus%20FY2021%20Approps%20Report%20FBI%20UOF.pdf?dl=0
House Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) FY2021 Appropriations report https://www.dropbox.com/s/hpvgfq1swmxequp/House%20CJS%20FY2021%20Approps%20UoF.pdf?dl=0
GAO, "Law Enforcement: Federal Agencies Should Improve Reporting and Review of Less-Lethal Force," GAO-22-104470, Dec 15, 2021 https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-22-104470
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806