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CITY LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNDING: Reporting Requirements on Use-of-Force Incidents

The Budget Act of 2015, Chapter 11, Statutes of 2015, allocates $20 million for front line law enforcement activities, and provides that “[t]he funds appropriated in this item shall be made available for city law enforcement agencies who agree to provide data on the number of use-of-force incidents that result in hospitalization or death.” This document provides information about the funds and reporting requirements in an FAQ format.

Q1: How were the awards determined?

The fiscal year 2015-16 awards were determined based on the allocation methodology used by the California Police Chiefs Association for the 2014-15 funding (Attachment I). Some fiduciary agents have changed from the prior year. The attachment provides a schedule of the amounts by county and fiscal agents.

Q2: Has the funding been disbursed?

The State Controller’s Office disbursed these funds according to a schedule provided by the Department of Finance on August 21, 2015. Disbursement of these funds are the collective decision of the local enforcement agencies within the county.

Q3: What reporting requirements are associated with this grant?

Provision 2 of Item 5227-102-0001 of the Budget Act of 2015 requires: “The funds appropriated in this item shall be made available for city law enforcement agencies who agree to provide data on the number of use-of-force incidents that result in hospitalization or death.”

Q4: How does each law enforcement agency provide the agreement to submit use-of-force data?

The BSCC provided a document for each law enforcement agency to complete to notify the fiscal agent of its agreement to submit the data required to receive this funding (Attachment II). The fiscal agent for each county must provide this document to the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) by September 21, 2015. Please mail all completed forms to Tina Peerson at 2590 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95833.

Q5: What is the definition of “hospitalization” for the use-of-force reporting purposes?

Hospitalization as a result of a use-of-force incident is defined as patient admission to any hospital bed for treatment. Hospitalization as a result of a use-of-force incident does not include evaluation and treatment by a Hospital Emergency Department.

Q6: Does a hospitalization as a result of a use-of-force incident have to be for a specified length of time, such as overnight?

No it does not. Hospitalization as a result of a use-of-force incident is defined as patient admission to any hospital bed for treatment, regardless of the length of the hospital stay.

Q7: What if it is standard protocol to take a person to the hospital, prior to booking, even if there is no injury from the use-of-force incident? Should we count it as a use-of-force incident if a person is taken to the hospital emergency room for a first aid visit, and is treated and released – for example receives stitches? Sometimes people have to be medically cleared before being accepted at the jail, so is that considered hospitalization in this context?

These are examples of a trip to the hospital emergency department that do not result in being admitted to a hospital bed for treatment. Therefore, they should not be reported as use-of-force incidents that result in hospitalization.

Q8: Will data be collected on law enforcement officer hospitalizations or deaths?

No. For these reporting purposes, only use-of-force incidents that result in hospitalization or death of a civilian should be reported.

Q9: When will law enforcement agencies receive their log-in information?

The deadline for the BSCC to receive information from the fiduciary agent about which local law enforcement agencies will receive funding is September 21, 2015. Shortly after that date, and before October 1, the BSCC will provide an individual email to each agency with instructions and log-in information.

Q10: What is the schedule for reporting the use-of-force data?

Law enforcement agencies must electronically submit this use-of-force data to the BSCC on a quarterly basis for the period of October 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016. The BSCC is developing a website that will allow each agency that accepts this funding to submit use-of-force data electronically. Instructions and log-in information will be sent to fiscal agents, and agencies receiving funding, after BSCC’s receipt of Attachment II. Law enforcement agencies must provide this data two weeks after the end of each quarter. If a law enforcement agency does not have any use-of-force incidents, it must report “no use-of-force incidents” or “0” on a quarterly basis. The BSCC will then make this information available to the Legislature. Data will be collected for the following quarters:

Q11: What agencies are required to report use-of-force data under this grant?

Any front-line law enforcement agency that receives funding is required to report use-of-force data. In the case of Sheriffs offices that provide front-line law enforcement for a city in their county, the use-of-force data should be reported for the contract city only, not for the Sheriff’s entire jurisdiction.

Q12: What are the Fiduciary Agents’ responsibilities?

The Fiduciary Agents initial task was to help the BSCC identify a point of contact, within each local law enforcement agency receiving these funds, who would be responsible for reporting use-of-force data to the BSCC. In addition, as described below, the Fiduciary Agent may be contacted for assistance in making contact with local agencies that are overdue in reporting use-of-force data.

Q13: Is the Fiduciary Agent responsible for collecting or inputting data on behalf of other local agencies?

No. Each local agency has identified a person who is responsible for that agency’s use-of-force reporting. Each local agency has a unique and confidential log-in to the website for reporting purposes. (In some cases, a Fiduciary Agent may be responsible for inputting the data for their own agency, but the Fiduciary Agent would not be required to input data for any other agency.)

Q14: Why are Fiduciary Agents getting a dashboard that shows the data reporting activities for all agencies in their county?

The BSCC may request help from Fiduciary Agents in obtaining overdue data. However, the BSCC will first work through the Police Chiefs and California State Sheriffs’ Association to contact any agency that is overdue in reporting use-of-force data.

Q15: Will agencies receive a reminder email about due dates for inputting their use-of-force data?

Yes. The BSCC will send a reminder email to the point of contact in each agency two weeks prior to the final submission date in each quarter (refer to question 10 to view submission dates for each quarter).

Q16: Does the Local Law Enforcement Grant Funding need to be in a separate account? Are there restrictions on how the funding may be used?

Each county is responsible for determining the priorities and local allocations of the funding, which is to be used for front line law enforcement activities. Other than requiring use-of-force data in order to receive the funding, the statute does not direct or restrict how the funding may be used. Those are local funding decisions.

Q17: If multiple agencies are involved in a use of force incident, which agency should report the incident to the BSCC?

To avoid duplicative counts of use of force, when multiple agencies are involved in a use of force incident resulting in hospitalization or death, the lead agency is the reporting agency to BSCC for the incident. If the lead agency is not a recipient of the grant funds and therefore not subject to the reporting requirement, then the use of force incident is not reported. The involved agencies are to determine which is the lead agency.

Q18: What is the difference between BSCC’s collection of use of force data as part of the City Law Enforcement Grant and DOJ’s collection of use of force data per AB 71?

Please click here to view a side-by-side comparison of the City Law Enforcement Grants and AB 71.

If you have additional questions about the use-of-force reporting requirements, please contact Megan Barber-Brancamp at megan.barber-brancamp@bscc.ca.gov