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National Data Collection on Police Use of Force

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1996
107 pages
This discussion paper highlights findings from research on police use of force.
The report presents data from national collection efforts, annual summaries, and research by the Federal Government. It contains an overview of police use of force, including summaries of early studies, the need for local data collection on force, and the surprisingly high number of groups interested in obtaining statistics on police use of force. Results from three recent studies are presented as examples of national, state, and local statistical efforts. The difficulties in collecting data on police use of force are examined, along with discussion of various definitions of police use of force and concerns on how the data will be used. Because there are several potential sources from which data could be collected, a section is included on the advantages and disadvantages of different data collection approaches. The paper also includes details on two major initiatives by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice to collect national data on police use of force. Footnotes, exhibits, references, appendix

Date Published: April 1, 1996