In a first, FBI to begin collecting national data on police use of force
The FBI is set to begin collecting data that will track use-of-force incidents reported by law enforcement, but experts say the collection could prove problematic and the data could provide an incomplete picture of the scale of the incidents across the country.
The National Use-of-Force Data Collection will track use-of-force incidents by police that result in death or serious bodily injury, and also incidents in which an officer fired a gun at a person, the FBI announced Wednesday. Local, state, tribal, and federal jurisdictions can begin submitting data to the FBI via a web application on Jan. 1, 2019. Once the information is collected, it will be released at least twice a year.
Law enforcement agencies across the country have come under fire for high-profile incidents of deaths and injuries by police officers. No statistics have been available to track the incidents on a national scale, though some agencies collect their own data at the state and local level.
The FBI says the data collection, a first-of-its kind effort, will allow the law enforcement community to identify areas of improvement when it comes to training and tactics. Members of a use-of-force data collection task force convened by the FBI also say they hope the data will increase transparency and in turn strengthen trust between the community and law enforcement.