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Law Enforcement Integrity Data FAQ

Background

In furtherance of a concern around law enforcement integrity, the Colorado legislature passed SB 20-217, HB 21-1250, and HB 21-1142, which consolidate into C.R.S. 24-31-903. This statute requires the Division of Criminal Justice to collect and report on law enforcement data concerning contacts, use of force, unannounced entry, police-involved deaths, and police officer resignations while under investigation for violations of agency policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current status of the project?

  • As of June 10, 2022, the vendor has created the technical specifications for data collection. 
  • The specifications are available in this .zip file (DCJ_LEI_Technical_Specifications.zip)
  • The website to submit data went live on October 14, 2022

What progress has been made?

  • Law enforcement working groups were held from August 2021 to March 2022
  • The contract process started in November 2021
  • Contract finalized March 2022
  • First task order to create technical specifications March 2022
  • Final specifications issued June 2022
  • First test submissions: July 2022
  • Begin Collection of Monthly data: August 2022
  • October 1, 2022: Submit first data file

What approaches are being taken to collect data?

Data collection can happen in three ways. First, agencies can modify their RMS to collect the data required under the Law Enforcement Integrity (LEI) Contacts, Use of Force, and Unannounced entry requirements. Second, agencies can enter a relationship with a third-party vendor capable of collecting and submitting the data. Third, DCJ will be using a product called Sidearm to allow law enforcement agencies to enter data directly into the LEI database.

Data submission

Statute calls for contact and use of force data to be collected from April 1, 2022, onward. Due to the fact that the technical specifications for collection were not published until July 2022 the beginning of the collection period will start August 1, 2022. Any data collected prior to August 1, 2022, will not be submitted. Data submissions will occur on a monthly basis. Given the delay in implementation, submission testing should start in May. Regular submissions of data should begin in October 2022. 

The first submission in the beginning of October will be the August 2022 file. After that first submission we plan to use the 15th of the month following data collection as the due date.

Direct data entry into the Sidearm product is expected to begin in October 2022. If an agency is interested in this option please contact DCJ at cdps_dcj_lei@state.co.us

How to submit JSON files

The LEA Reporting site for contacts data is now available. It is the same URL that is used for reporting NIBRS data. The OSN you use to logon and report NIBRS is the same one you will use to report Contacts. When you are logged on, the Submit Data menu now includes a Contacts Data Upload option.

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Logon Credentials for Crime Insight 

If you have an OSN:

Contact the TAC at your agency and let them know they will need to submit a COSN form request through OpenFox to get credentials for Crime Insight. If you only need access to the Contacts upload feature of Crime Insight, ask the TAC to select “Contacts and Crime Insight” as the security role. This change will take approximately 1-3 business days.
 

If you need a new OSN:

Contact the TAC at your agency and let them know you need a new OSN. They will submit the request through OpenFox via the OSNT form. If you only need access to the Contacts upload feature of Crime Insight ask the TAC to  to select “Contacts and Crime Insight” as the security role. 

 

There is currently a delay in granting OSNs, so it is requested that someone in the organization with current NIBRS access upload the Contacts JSON file until the new OSN and Crime Insight credentials are granted.

Submission Timelines

The August 2022 submission should be completed as soon as your data is available. The September 2022 submission should be completed on or after Oct 15, 2022. Since this is a new process there may be performance issues as a large number of agencies may be submitting data for the first time.

Future submissions should occur on the 15th of the month following the month being reported on.

When will final specifications be available for RMS vendors and other third-party vendors?

The final technical specifications were published in July 2022.

Are there third-party vendors that have established solutions?

There are a number of third-party vendors who have been working on data collection and reporting solutions that will comply with the LEI requirements.

Capers
caperssoftware.com

Benchmark Analytics
Chris Casula | Chief Partnerships Officer
Office | (312) 795-0558
Cell    | (414) 308-0768
chris.casula@benchmarkanalytics.com

Global Public Safety
globalsoftwarecorp.com

SmartForce (smartforce.app)
Brian McGrew | VP Sales, Marketing, & Success
Office | (859) 748-8752
Cell    | (817) 247-4102
6400 S. Fiddlers Green Circle, Suite 250
Greenwood Village, CO 80111.

Stoplitix (stoplitix.com)
Austin Pittman
info@stoplitix.com
(336) 693-9488

Tyler Technologies (www.tylertech.com)
Paul Hager, Director, Sales
(908)-674-2773
Paul.Hager@tylertech.com

Contacts

The Deputy Attorney General for CDPS has concluded that the definition of contact includes both pro-active contacts by law enforcement as well as those in response to a call for service. C.R.S. 24-31-901: “Contact” means an in-person interaction with an individual, whether or not the person is in a motor vehicle, initiated by a peace officer, whether consensual or nonconsensual, for the purpose of enforcing the law or investigating possible violations of the law. “Contact” does not include routine interactions with the public at the point of entry or exit from a controlled area; a non-investigatory and consensual interaction with a member of the public, initiated by a member of the public, unless and until the interaction progresses into an investigation of a possible violation of the law; a motorist assist; undercover interactions; or routine interactions with persons detained in a jail or detention facility.

What about complaints and investigations?

Complaints and investigations of officer conduct often happen weeks or months after the contact. The website that allows for direct entry of data will also have an option to modify previously submitted reports. 

What does Use of Force include?

The state definition of “use of force” includes: “All use of force by its peace officers that results in death or serious bodily injury or that involves the use of a weapon.”  This is substantially different from the FBI definition which requires discharging a weapon or causing serious bodily injury or death.

Use of a weapon includes unholstering, brandishing, or discharging a weapon during an incident. The statute defines a weapon as a “firearm, long gun, Taser, baton, nunchucks, or projectile weapons.” Once a weapon is unholstered or brandished, even if not discharged, then it becomes a reportable use of force incident. If there is force of any type that results in death or serious bodily injury then this is also reportable.

Examples:

1. Officer approaches citizen and draws weapon. Reportable force. Include name, POST number and other required information for officer.

2. Officer approaches citizen and draws weapon. A backup officer is on the scene but does not draw the weapon. Reportable force. Include name, POST number and other required information for officer who draws weapon and POST number for backup officer.

3. Officer is involved with citizen and uses a baton to gain control of the citizen. The use of the baton does not cause serious injury. Reportable force. Use of a weapon and not necessarily outcome of the force is state threshold for reporting.

4. Officer uses a control hold on a citizen that does not result in any serious bodily injury. Not reportable force.

5. Officer uses a control hold on a citizen that breaks the wrist of the citizen, thus resulting in a serious bodily injury. Reportable use of force. Even though the intent of the officer was to simply exert control, the outcome of the incident was still a serious bodily injury. 

The officer’s name and other required information must be entered. The other officers at the scene who did not use reportable force need to have their POST numbers entered for the event. If a weapon is being stored on the officer’s back or in some other way where it is not able to be immediately used then it is not considered to be brandished even though it is visible.

Comparison guide between FBI and State use of force guidelines

What about SWAT or other activities involving multiple officers?

If a weapon is brandished during the contact then all officers’ names and other required information must be reported for that use of force event. In this case, if a firearm is in the hands of the officer in a ready position to be used, it is considered to be brandished. If the weapon is being carried on the officer’s back and is being held in such a way that it could be immediately fired, it is not considered to be brandished.

Can we submit contact and use of force files separately because we have two different reporting systems?

That's an issue we are going to have to work out on our back end but we've envisioned it being submitted as one file. If it were two files we will have to make sure there's a common event ID# so the information between the two can be linked.

Victims and witnesses

Victims and witnesses are both excluded from the definition of contacts. If a show-up is conducted then there will be some limited demographic information collected for the witness in the context of the statute, which includes gender, race, ethnicity, and confidence of the show-up. 

Are officers' names going to be public-facing and searchable?

Yes, there will be a page that will list the agency, date, officer name, and type of force used in the incident. It will be similar to the POST page here.

How will there be Quality Assurance?

There will be a similar process to what is currently being used to ensure quality assurance of the NIBRS data submissions. If there are issues with submissions the agency will get an error message with information on the nature of the error and how to correct it.