NEW YORK - It’s 10 a.m. on the eighth floor of police headquarters and inside the Jack Maple compstat room, commanders from across the city are being lauded for their work in helping to set a record: Only 35 police incidents last year ended with officers firing their guns.
"This marks then lowest number of discharges ever recorded by members of the department dating back to 1971," said NYPD Force Investigation Division Deputy Chief Kevin Maloney.
This is ForceStat.
"ForceStat like CompStat was designed to focus on how we hold folks accountable," said NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker.
The force investigation division was created in 2015 to centralize and standardize how each incident of police firing their guns and using other types of force is reported and investigated.
A year ago, the NYPD inspector general said the department was stilll underreporting how often officers used force against civilians.
The NYPD responded the audit only looked at the initial months of the force investigation division's operation.. Not the robust system in place now... detailed reporting requirements and quarterly meetings where commanding officers are summoned to explain all incidents wthin their commands. It's simliar to the CompStat meetings when commanders are questioned about crime trends in their precincts.
On this day, a Queens North inspector is called to the podium and asked to explain a big increase in use of force complaints reported to the police civilian complaint review board.
Thirty-three in 2018, compared to 11 the year before.
In one case last September, police shot dead a 54-year-old woman after she reported a burglary at her home and allegedly lunged at responding officers with a knife.
At the time, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said, "One officer discharges his service weapon, three times striking the female in the torso."
That incident and all deadly incidents are investigated by the force investigation division.
"FID investigates all firearm discharges, it investigates suicides and any other force involved incidents," Tucker said.
Force Investigation Division stats show NYPD officers shot 17 people in adversarial conflicts last year, compared to 23 in 2017.
"The focus on force and reason tasers and pepper spray exist is to give out officers more tools to use less than lethal force and give them some options on the street," Tucker added.
First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker says police use of force in unavoidable but less than lethal options are the department's priority.
Like this story? Sign up to get similar ones delivered to your inbox every Thursday evening with our Boro by Boro newsletter.