Use of Force Dashboard

Mayor Bottoms created an Advisory Council comprised of community members and partners to examine the City’s Use of Force (UoF) policies and procedures. Among the Advisory Council’s recommendations was the development of an interactive Use of Force dashboard that displays use of force trends within the Atlanta Police Department (APD).

The purpose of the Use of Force Dashboard is to improve transparency, increase trust between the public and APD, and facilitate fact-based discussions around police performance in the city of Atlanta. This dashboard will be updated quarterly with the most recent use of force trends, with the next update expected in October 2021.

A Use of Force Incident Report is generated when an APD employee applies force or takes an action that results in, or is alleged to have resulted in, the physical injury or death of another person.

APD’ s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) governing the use of force by employees can be accessed here.

APD’ s Training Section conducts an annual analysis of all use of force reports filed to determine if any patterns or trends in the use of force exist within the Department that would affect the training needs of employees, equipment issued to employees, or Departmental policy and procedure.

If multiple types of force were used in one incident, the highest level of force used is reflected in the dashboard. Levels of force from lowest to highest are:

  • OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) Spray  - "Pepper Spray"
  • Taser
  • Baton
  • Firearm (also includes when a firearm is pointed at someone but not discharged)

A single use of force incident may have multiple call signals associated with it, all of which are included in the Top 5 Signals metric.

The percentage of use of force incidents captured on video includes body worn camera (BWC) footage, dash cam footage, and taser footage.

**An officer may be counted more than once if they were involved in multiple incidents, depending on their years of service at the time of each incident.

Use of Force Investigative Process (APD Office of Professional Standards) – When a Use of Force incident occurs, a Supervisor (usually a Sergeant) is required to respond to the scene and complete a Use of Force Report. The Sergeant’s findings are then reviewed by ​at least two additional persons in the officers' chain of command. The Training Academy and the Office of Professional Standards also receive a copy of the report prepared by the initial supervisor, for a minimum of five reviewers of each Use of Force incident. If any of the five reviewers believe that use of force was excessive or otherwise violated policy, then an OPS investigation is initiated.  An OPS investigation may result in disciplinary action or a finding that a violation did not occur. A citizen can also make a complaint directly with OPS to initiate an investigation.

Use of Force Investigative Process (Atlanta Citizen Review Board) – When the ACRB receives a citizen complaint, it is assessed to determine if: (1) the citizen’s allegations fall under one or more of the categories the ACRB is authorized to investigate and whether additional allegations are warranted, and (2) if the alleged act occurred within 365 days of the incident. If the complaint meets both criteria, it is then assigned to an investigator who will conduct an investigation, which involves reviewing relevant police department policies and procedures and law, gathering all available documents and records related to the incident, requesting video and audio recordings, collecting witness information and interviewing the complainant, officers, and witnesses.  After the investigation is completed, the investigator writes a report detailing the investigation and its findings. The report and file is then presented to the Board for their review and adjudication. For additional information on the ACRB’ s process, please visit acrbgov.org.