Response to Resistance
The Memphis Police Department responds to over nine hundred thousand calls for service each year, nearly all of which are resolved without an officer ever engaging in the use of force. However, in order to protect life or property or to take a person into custody, there are times an officer must resort to force to overcome resistance to an officer’s command(s). These situations are referred to as Response to Resistance incidents, and officers are required to submit a report documenting the circumstances of each incident. Each report is reviewed by the Inspectional Services Bureau to ensure protocol was followed and to monitor whether additional training practices need to be implemented.
What Does This Report Show?
This report displays the number of Response to Resistance incidents that occur each year, the type of force deployed, the reasons why officers had to deploy force, and the demographics of the persons involved. The report also includes a separate page for data on firearm discharge incidents. The numbers include all investigations that were complete as of June 30, 2021. Moving forward, data will be updated quarterly.
How Do We Compare to Other Agencies?
Response to Resistance (all incidents)
It is very difficult to compare Response to Resistance incidents across different agencies due to the lack of a national reporting database and the different ways in which agencies track their numbers. The FBI is working to change this, and began collecting data from agencies in January 2019. Once 60% of agencies across the country submit their data, the FBI will begin reporting numbers publicly. The Memphis Police Department is a participant in this effort, and looks forward to sharing the data when it becomes available. More information on the National Use of Force Data Collection can be found here.
Response to Resistance (fatal shootings)
Although the Memphis Police Department’s goal is to never have a fatal shooting, there are times when it is necessary for an officer to use lethal force. The Washington Post has created a database to track the number of fatal police shootings nationwide, and the chart below compares the number of fatal shootings by MPD officers to those in cities with similar populations and public safety demographics. More information on the Washington Post database can be found here.