Honolulu Police Department: Use of Force Data

The Law Center worked with the Honolulu Police Department to obtain readily releasable data regarding use of force.  As HPD has migrated to better record management systems, information traditionally maintained on paper forms has become more accessible to both the Department and the public.

The Department has a form that is completed for any use of force, excluding routine handcuffing.  See Section XI of HPD Policy No. 1.04 (Use of Force).  To provide a sense of the information collected, you can view a copy of the old paper form of HPD Form 192E.

When the Law Center inquired, HPD provided substantial assistance in identifying information from Form 192E that could be provided without extensive and expensive review of the data.  Then HPD explored the capabilities of its record management system to learn how to extract the data for public disclosure.  Although the Law Center’s first request took some time because it was a new idea, the second set of data was available within a day.

Below is the Form 192E data extracted from HPD’s record management system for 2021, 2022, and 2023.  Keep in mind the following considerations when looking at this data.

  • Each row of data is not necessarily a separate use of force incident.  If there are multiple Form 192E reports submitted for the same incident, then multiple rows will concern one single event.  In those circumstances, each row will have the same “Report Number” to indicate that it is one event, even though multiple reports are submitted.
  • The Law Center did not request the name or date of birth of the individuals who were the subject of the use of force.  This limitation avoided potential concerns about privacy and more complicated review of the data.
  • The Law Center also did not request the specific location of the incident because it may identify the individual if, for example, it were a home address and thus would require more complicated review of the data.  The data, however, does identify the relevant “beat”.  Beat narrows the location to a small geographical area.  HPD provided its current beat maps when requested.
    • As an example to visualize the use of force data, the Law Center created heatmaps by HPD beat using GIS layers.
  • The data generally does not include the narrative fields on Form 192E.  There are not that many narrative fields (most are check-the-box fields), but those fields were excluded from the request to avoid a more complicated review process because the narratives may reference the subject individual by name or provide details that would identify that person.  For any request of interest, the more complete form could be requested to obtain the narrative portions.  As an example, the Law Center obtained the completed forms for one particular incident.

Researchers with the University of Hawaii at Manoa took a deep-dive into the 2021 data, as well as trend data using HPD’s annual reports since 2010.  The researchers established a benchmark for analyzing use of force data disclosed by HPD in the future.  David T. Johnson, Nicholas Chagnon, and Daniel Jeong, On the Use of Force by Honolulu Police (April 2023)

2021 Use of Force Data / Heatmap

2022 Use of Force Data / Heatmap

2023 Use of Force Data / Heatmap

GIS Layers / District Map