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BJA FY21 Smart Policing Initiative for Phoenix Police Department

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $500,000)

The purpose of this project is to improve data collection and analytics of weapons usage by law enforcement officers. Understanding officer response to resistance has become an essential concern for law enforcement agencies (LEAs) across the country. Best practices suggest that agencies require officers to document responses that exceed certain thresholds but at what level, and how, the documentation is subject to considerable variation. Despite the need for comprehensive information on how officers respond to resistance[1], there exists considerable challenges to collecting reliable and detailed information.

Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States, with a population of 1.4 million and a geographic area larger than Los Angeles, spanning 500 square miles. The Phoenix Police Department (PPD) has 2,870 sworn officers. Not unlike many major cities, Phoenix is currently experiencing a precipitous increase in certain violent crimes, specifically homicide, robbery and aggravated assault, which are exceeding 2020 statistics, a year that also brought its own precipitous increase in crime.


[1] In June 2021, the PPD began to transition from the term use of force to response to resistance. We believe that the term response to resistance better represents the dynamic of force used by officers.

Date Created: December 17, 2021