First of its kind UConn report analyzes police ‘use of force’ data
(WFSB) - For the first time ever, Connecticut released statewide police “use of force” data.
The report by the University of Connecticut examined data from a 2-year period. 60 departments, including state police submitted data to the institute for municipal and regional policy at UConn.
A law passed in 2019 requires police to report use of force data to UConn every year.
UConn’s report looked at how police used force in terms of race.
The data showed that Blacks had more use of force used against them than other races.
However, the author of the report said that the public should be cautious when reviewing the information because the collection of the data had serious gaps and limitations.
“We are a little bit ways away from having a really good data set, but what we want to tell the public is we are moving in the right direction,” says Ken Barone the associate director for Municipal and Regional Policy at UConn.
The public report said the state is actively addressing this issue. It created a new universal electronic system that is a requirement for all police departments.
Barone also urges caution with the results of this report, since some departments offered more details than others. In a few years, they are hoping to see more trends forming as data comes in annually.
Over the last two years, the data used in this report shows for every 100 people arrested in Connecticut, force is used two times. According to the report, the type of force used by police was mostly pressure points or control holds.
Over 200 incidents involved deadly force or a firearm, and five people were killed the report says.
Almost half of all the individual in use of force incientents
“Think with the new reporting system we implemented on July 1 we will be able to very quickly better understand the application of force across different demographics,” said Barone. “I think there are still outstanding questions before we can draw any conclusions on that.”
“When you know better, you do better and that applies only to the police in this case, right? By looking at this data we will know better what it is that we are doing, that our officers are doing, on the street on a statewide basis,” said Chief Neil Dryfe, Cheshire Police Department and president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.
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