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Phoenix looks at grants to help track crime and officers' use of force

Phoenix Police Department
Posted at 5:54 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 21:42:18-04

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to seek two grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to address ongoing tracking issues on police use-of-force.

The first grant application is for $500,000 to automatically track when police officers point guns at people. Phoenix police would buy sensors for guns to show when they were unholstered. The grant would pay for a study to look at this issue.

An analysis by the ABC15 Investigators last year found that Phoenix officers disproportionately point their guns at Black people compared to the city's Black population.

The second grant request includes $800,000 for the Phoenix Police Department to update its computerized police report system. The updated system is needed to submit data to the FBI's new National Incident-Based Reporting System. NIBRS tracks more details about crimes, the suspects and victims, and their relationship, especially when it comes to officers' use of force.

As the ABC15 Investigators previously reported, Phoenix already failed to meet the FBI's January 1, 2021, deadline to switch over to NIBRS reporting. The FBI has said it will not collect data from cities after the deadline until they upgrade, and those cities' uniform crime data will be estimated. The missing data impacts the ability to monitor crime trends locally and nationwide.

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