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Criminal Justice Update

New resource makes it easier to report use-of-force incidents

The Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG) has added a new feature to its record’s management system that provides an easy way for officers to report incidents involving a use of force.

The Use-of-Force Module, which became available in May, is set up to collect the data needed for the Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System (OIBRS).

OIBRS, established in 2017, is based on the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Through the voluntary reporting program, law enforcement agencies can submit statistics to the state and federal government in an automated format.

“The goal of the resulting statistics is not to offer insight into single use-of-force incidents but to provide an aggregate view of the incidents reported and the circumstances, subjects, and officers involved,” according to an FBI explanation on data collection.

Ultimately, the data is used by law enforcement agencies and policymakers to make decisions on training and resources.

According to the OIBRS Ohio Use of Force Report Training Manual, a use-of-force incident is defined as “an incident when a law enforcement or corrections officer uses any empty-hand technique on a person; uses a less-than-lethal weapon, or other object used as a less-than-lethal weapon, on a person; discharges a firearm at, or in the direction of a person; or uses any other lethal weapon or object used as a lethal weapon. Empty-hand techniques do not include standard handcuffing procedures on a compliant person or escort position to a vehicle or holding area.”
The Use-of-Force Module will guide officers through the reporting process and allow them to enter their use-of-force incidents into the system and validate and extract these reports to be sent on to the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) for OIBRS submissions, said OHLEG Director Cynthia Peterman.

OHLEG is a secure portal for the criminal justice community to conduct research on subjects and assets involved in investigations. As of Jan. 1, 2018, OHLEG had more than 28,800 registered users, including officers, detectives, analysts, and others.

OHLEG provides 17 databases in one free investigative tool, and it’s accessible from any smartphone or computer. The portal puts a wealth of information at a user’s fingertips. School safety plans; human trafficking reports; domestic violence reports; concealed carry information; and Blue, Amber, and Missing Adult alerts.

OHLEG’s Records Management System, where the Use-of-Force Module is located, offers a free, efficient way to organize, track, and access a department’s information on field interviews, citations, incidents, property and evidence, call records, and more.

OHLEG provides the training and data storage.
To sign up for OHLEG, call 866-406-4534 or send email to