Product Feature: New Software Programs Help Police Better Track Use of Force

Historically, many police departments and government entities have not kept detailed use-of-force statistics, and, currently, the most detailed databases on incidents like police shooting fatalities are maintained by news organizations like The Washington Post.1 The White House has invited U.S. law enforcement agencies to voluntarily participate in more robust data collection and reporting of use of force, but, as of April 2016, only 53 jurisdictions had signed up to participate in these efforts.2

For various reasons, compiling these statistics—much less using the numbers to inform training or other improvement measures—has proven challenging to many in the law enforcement community. Many agencies don’t track the use of force, and those that do often do so in uneven or inconsistent ways.

Thanks to some new software programs, however, solving these challenges may now be much easier than police departments realize.