Law Enforcement Officer Near Miss Reporting System

The Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Near Miss reporting system enables officers to study and anonymously share near miss incidents, which provide lessons learned that can protect other officers who may encounter similar situations.

Project Overview

The National Policing Institute developed a voluntary and anonymous reporting system that enables law enforcement personnel to study and anonymously share stories of close calls or “near misses.” A near miss is defined as a situation where a law enforcement officer could have been seriously injured or killed, but harm or death was averted. Each near miss incident provides lessons learned that can protect other officers who encounter similar situations, but only if the incident is reported and shared. Our mission is to enable and encourage law enforcement personnel to share their near miss experiences so the lessons learned from them can be used by other officers and incorporated systematically into agencies’ training, policy, and equipment decisions to prevent officer injuries and fatalities.

Prior to the launch of the LEO Near Miss system, the law enforcement profession did not have any national near miss reporting system capable of collecting near miss incidents and disseminating lessons learned to law enforcement officers across the country. With the LEO Near Miss system operational, all law enforcement officers now have access to an archive of institutional knowledge that can improve officer safety systematically, as opposed to near miss incidents predominantly affecting only those involved in the incidents. The practice of learning from near misses and addressing safety deficiencies prior to any injury or fatality occurring is a fundamental component of a safety culture, and law enforcement must build a stronger safety culture to have a significant impact on officer injuries and fatalities.

In support of the project’s mission, NPI provides virtual training and technical assistance, at no cost, to help agencies integrate the practice of near miss reporting into operations, policy, training, and culture.

Methodology

The LEO Near Miss system is modeled after successful near miss reporting systems used in other high-risk industries, particularly the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) used extensively in U.S. commercial aviation. The LEO Near Miss system provides verified law enforcement professionals with access to a database of reported near miss incidents, and it enables them to easily and anonymously submit their own near miss experiences. The LEO Near Miss system captures many incident characteristics for each near miss submission, including incident type, environmental conditions, suspect characteristics, number of officers on scene at the time of the incident, and many more. The National Policing Institute’s research team subsequently analyzes the submitted near miss data to identify trends and common characteristics of near miss incidents to identify and recommend preventative actions agencies can take to improve officer safety.

Results

To date, nearly 200 near miss incidents have been submitted to the LEO Near Miss system by officers from across the country. Each of these incidents can be reviewed, in detail, by visiting www.LEOnearmiss.org. Once the volume of submitted near miss incidents reaches a large enough sample size for rigorous analysis, the NPI research team will develop and release a national report profiling the near misses received to date.

Project Resources

To access the LEO Near Miss system, please visit www.LEOnearmiss.org.

Project Publications

Forthcoming

Staff Contact(s)

Brett Cowell

Brett Cowell, M.A.

Program Manager

Media Contact

Media inquiries should be directed to our Communications team at:

media@policinginstitute.org
202-833-1460

More Information

Project Status: Active

Project Period:  October 2014 -

Location(s): National

Research Design: Non-experimental

Research Method(s): Surveys

Staff Contact(s)

Brett Cowell

Brett Cowell, M.A.

Program Manager

Media Contact

 

Media inquiries should be directed to our Communications team at:

media@policinginstitute.org
202-833-1460