Data Collection


“Research on the Challenges Faced In Law Enforcement”

CRJ 499: Criminal Justice Capstone

This research will highlight the findings from existing inquiries on police use of force. It will describe how the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice collects data on police contacts with members of the public that result in the use of force by law enforcement officers. This research will assess how often police public contact results in the use of excessive force and as a result, provides basic knowledge on the lack of integrity and moral ethics that our law enforcement agents possess today.

Discuss what data you have collected or researched to indicate there is a problem in Law Enforcement

I have collected data on the sponsorship of the National Police Use of Force Database that is currently administered by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The pilot project that I researched, used a standard form to gather information directly from the law enforcement agencies that were directly involved in the use of force amongst its officers and the public. A fraction of the contacts have involved police force that permitted further analysis to ascertain the incidence and characteristics of police use of excessive force. I have also collected data on the surveys of arresting officers who were involved in incidence of excessive force that surrounded the circumstances of the initial arrest. [National Data Collection on Police Use of Force, 1996] When police go beyond judicious force to use unwarranted force during an arrest or in impulsive response, as during the decades of protest demonstrations involving labor, civil rights, or other controversial issues, citizens become victims of police, and the public’s buoyancy in a police force can plummet. Known abuses of force rightfully receive extensive attention from the public, politicians, media, and, in some cases, civil and even criminal courts. While reproving the incidents of unwarranted force, law enforcement officials note that not enough attention and credit is given to the police when they effectively resolve situations without any use of force or with only minimal force.

Include at least two sources of data (charts, data, statistics, etc.)

[Harsh Remarks, Racism, and Police Brutality, 2013]

Discuss how each source of data is relevant to the problem.

Each source of data is relevant to the issues outlined in law enforcement today, because they convey a level of understanding of the lack of integrity that out officers possess within the agencies and out in the streets with the community. The National Institute of Justice outline the basic problem in law enforcement. The issue in law enforcement is the lack of routine and national systems for collecting data on incidents in which police use force during the normal course of duty and on the extent of excessive force. Some observers believe that abuses of force reaching the attention of the public and the media are only the tip of the iceberg. They point, for example, to recent revelations in several large cities that some officers routinely beat up drug suspects and falsify evidence. Other observers note that police resolve literally millions of incidents each year without resorting to force and believe that the incidence of excessive force has been blown out of proportion. [National Data Collection on Police Use of Force, 1996] The lack of reliable data on the extent of excessive force received the attention of the United States Congress in enacting the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The concerns around racial profiling that have caused an influx in the amount of force used by law enforcement agents today, are erupting throughout the nation. Racial Profiling Studies in Law Enforcement, clearly outline that many cities and states have decided to study racial profiling, or how race and ethnicity may play a part in stops by law enforcement in their jurisdictions. Generally, the announcement of a racial profiling study by police and/or other public officials typically includes a denial that racial profiling exists within this jurisdiction, but also an acknowledgment that it would be helpful to study the pattern of police stops within the jurisdiction. The very act of undertaking such a study reaffirms the general public policy goal that policing decisions should be race-neutral. However, it also signals to law enforcement officers that extra caution may be needed to ensure that the data they collect while performing their duties should reflect a lack of bias in their own performance. [Racial Profiling Studies in Law Enforcement: Issues and Methodology, 2000]


Tom McEwan, National Institute of Justice. (1996) National Data Collection on Police Use of Force. Retrieved from

Jim Cleary. (2000) Racial Profiling Studies in Law Enforcement: Issues and Methodology. Retrieved from

NPMSRP Police Misconduct Statistics. (2010) Excessive Force by Type Pie Chart. Retrieved from

Q2 NPMSRP Police Misconduct Statistics. (2010) Excessive Force by Type bar graph Chart. Retrieved from

Harsh Remarks, Racism, and Police Brutality in Chicago. (2013) Retrieved from