Police-involved shootings and use of force have long been topics of national discussion. A number of high-profile cases in which people died during arrests or while in police custody have heightened awareness of these incidents in recent years; however, the lack of nationwide statistics has hindered the opportunity to analyze information related to use-of-force incidents to help shape an informed dialogue.
To address the topic, representatives from major law enforcement organizations have been working in collaboration with the FBI to develop a national use-of-force data collection. With national data collection, data users can view use-of-force incidents involving law enforcement from a nationwide perspective. The goal of the resulting statistics is not to offer insight into single use-of-force incidents but to provide an aggregate view of the incidents reported and the circumstances, subjects, and officers involved.
The data collected will focus on information that is readily known and can be reported within the first few days after a use-of-force occurrence. Statistical reports will emphasize the collective nature of the data and will not assess whether the officers involved in use-of-force incidents acted lawfully or within the bounds of department policy.
The Weston Police Department has been voluntarily participating in the FBI’s National Use of Force Data Collection Program. The Criminal Justice Information Services has additional information on the data collection project.