Number and percentage of use of force incidents in proportion to the number of arrests made
Austin Police Department General Orders (General Order 200) states that:
it is the policy of this department that officers use only that amount of objectively reasonable force which appears necessary under the circumstances to successfully accomplish the legitimate law enforcement purpose in accordance with this policy.
and response to resistance (use of force) is defined by the same policy as:
Any physical contact with a subject by an officer using the body or any object, device, or weapon, not including unresisted escorting or handcuffing a subject…Any complaint by a subject that an officer caused pain or injury shall be treated as a response to resistance force incident, except complaints of minor discomfort from unresisted handcuffing.
During 2018, there were 4,162 response to resistance reports, representing 2,094 subjects (those who received force). And as a percent of total arrests, 7.8% involved resistance/force.
Subjects of force had no complaint of pain or injury resulting from the use of force in 55% of incidents.
In November of 2018, APD added a new level of response to resistance (Level 4). Levels 1-4 are defined below in the Austin Police Department General Orders.
Data from previous years is not comparable.
Additional Measure Insights
23 percent of incidents involving use of force occurred in George sector, which is located in the downtown Austin area.
See Austin Sector Map.
The Austin Police Department General Orders defines Use of Force levels 1-4.
During a response to resistance incident, an officer may need to use more than one type of force. Further, more than one officer may use force to control the situation. As a result, one incident may result in more than one response to resistance report and each report may include more than one type of force. Thus, the types of force used can be more than the total reports filed.
As reflected in the chart, the combined 34 is a level 3 and a level 4. The 23 represents level 2 and level 3, and 24 represents level 2 and level 4 on one incident.
In 76% of the 2018 response to resistance reports, officers noted that the subject was suspected to be under the influence of drugs/alcohol or emotionally disturbed (EDP) or both. The 34% of EDP situations represent 719 EDP subjects; of these, 158 (or 22%) met the criteria for emergency commitment and were committed to a health care facility. The 24% (no value) are the incidents that did not meet the characterization listed.
In 2018, 67 percent of response to resistance reports resulted from dispatched calls for service. The other significant category of response to resistance reports resulted from viewed offenses – contacts made when the officer observed and responded to an offense in progress(16 percent).
Measure Details and Definition
- Definition: This measure is how many people received use of force in proportion to the total number of arrests for 2018.
- Calculation Method: We calculated this measure using the formula: Total Number of use of force subjects divided by the total number of arrests in 2018.
- Data Collection Process: Use of force and arrests are tracked by APD.
- Measure Target Calculation: N/A
- Frequency Measure is Reported: Annually (Calendar Year)