AB71, as passed by the California legislature last November, required the state Department of Justice to track and report use of force incidents by local law enforcement agencies.
In response, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) will implement a new database, Ursus, to centralize those reports. The reports will be published online so interested parties can download the information for analysis.
Although Ursus (named for the bear on the California flag) is new, the tracking of incidents that involved an officer’s use of force, is not. The difference is that now the information will be tracked electronically rather than on paper for access by all in an attempt to improve the overall transparency of local police agencies.
The use of force data will be posted on the California Department of Justice, OpenJustice web portal beginning early in 2017 at https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/. For a walkthrough of the proposed AB71 (Ursus) database visit www.ursusdemo.doj.ca.gov/dashboard.