Use of Force

The use of force data set includes information on all documented force. Norman Police Department policy defines forces as the application of physical techniques or tactics, the application of a Control Device, or the presentation of a Conducted Electrical Weapon or Firearm toward another person. 

Data Set Information

About the Use of Force Data Set

The use of force definitions and reporting guidelines can be found in Policy 300 of the Norman Police Department Policy Manual. The policy defines force as “the application of physical techniques or tactics, the application of a Control Device, or the presentation of a Conducted Electrical Weapon or Firearm toward another person.” However, use of force is not “when a person allows him/herself to be searched, escorted, handcuffed or restrained.”

The use of force is never comfortable and often intense. It is important for both members of the Norman Police Department and the community to remember that the use of force is a critical concern for us all whether appropriately used or otherwise. Officers and community members must have an understanding and appreciation for the use of force applications and limitations. Officers are charged with preserving life and property and keeping the peace in the city. To those ends, they may be required to use reasonable force in carrying out their duties.

What information does the Use of Force Data Set provide?

This data set is intended to fulfill one of the fundamental elements of the Police Data Initiative. We have found that it is difficult to set an arbitrary report period as not all incidents are reported right away. That means an investigation may be started contemporaneously with an incident, or it may not be started for weeks, months or even years later – depending upon when it is reported. Therefore, we have decided to start with January 1, 2016 and report quarterly on the investigations that have been initiated year-to-date. That way we will not leave an incident out.

The information contained in these files, along with community and departmental demographic data, may provide researchers with valuable insight that can move beyond subjective or anecdotal claims involving the use of force by the Norman Police Department. We hope that it will also help us with identifying training needs or policy modifications to help ensure the highest level of police services. 

Terms Used

IA Number: This is the unique identification number for each incident of force. There may be more than one type of force used in an incident. There may also be more than one officer or citizen involved in an incident. As a result, the identifier, while unique to an incident, may be used more than once in relation to different types of force and individuals involved in that incident. The number has three parts: “UF” indicating Use of Force, the four-digit year, and the incident number preceded by a hyphen.

Type of Force: The following is a list of the types of force captured by our system. In-custody deaths or deaths caused as a result of a use of force are not specifically identified here. Instead, they are tracked separately as Complaints.

  • Arm Bar Takedown
  • Baton Presentation

  • Baton Strike

  • Bean Bag (Shotgun)

  • Canine Bite

  • Canine Presentation

  • Compliance Hold

  • Created Distance

  • Firearm Discharge

  • Firearm Pointing

  • Flashbang

  • Leg Restraint

  • Leg Sweep Takedown

  • OC Presentation

  • OC Use

  • Restraint Device

  • Sage Gun

  • Strike with Hand, Foot, etc.

  • Tackle

  • Taser Pointing

  • Taser Use

  • Used Barrier

  • Vascular Restraint

  • Verbal Commands

Policies Relating to the Use of Force Data Set