YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Youngstown Police Department will be taking part in an FBI program to report use-of-force statistics to a national database.
Staff Inspector Lt. Brian Butler said the department will be reporting any use-of-force incidents in which death or serious injury occurs.
Butler said the FBI wants to use the database in order to track use-of-force cases across the country.
The types of incidents that will be reported are if someone is hospitalized or seriously injured or if they die. Butler said if a Taser is used on a suspect, that will not be reported, but if the person who is hit with the Taser needs to be hospitalized, that will be reported.
Butler did not have precise figures available on use-of-force statistics for the department for 2018 or this year, but he did say he expects on average about five incidents per year that would fit the criteria to be reported.
Any incidents that meet the guidelines will be reported to the FBI within 48 hours, Butler said.
Already, officers fill out reports for any use of force, including if they use their Tasers or discharge their firearm at or toward a person. They are studied by supervisors to see if there is anything that could have been done differently and to make sure the officers are following the department’s use-of-force policy.
Butler said the department decided to take part in the FBI program because they believe in transparency.
The department is taking part in the program voluntarily, Butler said. He said the FBI is hoping that at least 40% of law enforcement agencies across the country take part. Butler said so far in Ohio, only 12% of law enforcement agencies are taking part.
According to the FBI, the effort to begin the data collection first began in 2015 and it kicked off nationwide on January 1.