BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -For the first time, the FBI will start tracking the number of times an officer uses force in its National Use of Force Data Collection program. The program will track incidents by law enforcement that result in death or serious injury.
The FBI will launch its new voluntary database in January. It will be a part of the agency’s Uniform Crime Reporting System that already collects data from law enforcement on crimes like murder to look at trends around the country.
“I think the national attention that use of force has been getting has finally gotten us to this point where they have to start collecting this data,” Natalie Todak, an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at UAB said.
Todak researches officer-involved shootings around the country. She feels the new collection system is a step in the right direction.
“This data will really help us understand the big picture of what’s happening in the United States to be able to compare different areas and find certain agencies or states that might be having problems that others aren’t,” Todak said.
Todak says it may take a while though to get a good look into the data because local and state law enforcement agencies are able to set their own use of force policies because there’s no federal law that governs it.
The Use-of-Force collection program could give us more context into incidents like the fatal officer-involved shooting that took place at the Galleria on Thanksgiving.
You can read more on the FBI’s collection program here: https://bit.ly/2ShiFH5