This week the Department of Justice made an important move to track data on police use of force across the country starting in January 2017. We strongly believe this data will not only help civil rights advocates more fully understand where and how policing practices can be improved, but it will also serve as an important shield for police officers. It's probably shocking to most Americans that there is hardly any reporting data on when police officers use their weapons in the line of duty. Ever the skeptics, we welcome the effort to fill the data void but we also have some suggestions for how to make this monumental effort actually work. Like, for instance, expanding the reporting requirements to state/local police, because right now the initiative only implicates federal law enforcement agencies (which is about 178,000 officers). And it probably isn't enough to set up a system to track data and hope that officers and police stations use it, they must be incentivized to do so, and punished for not doing so. Let's hope the next administration follows through on this initiative and actually expands and fortifies it.

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