FBI Establishes Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection
September 14, 2021
In June 2020, the federal government enacted the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection (LESDC) Act, which aims to help agencies better understand and prevent suicides among current and former law enforcement officers. The law requires the FBI to collect information about officers who attempt or die by suicide.
Because the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division already houses other law enforcement data collections in its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the FBI UCR Program established and manages the LESDC.
The Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act
As part of the LESDC, the FBI will collect the following information for each current or former law enforcement officer who attempts or dies by suicide, including:
- Circumstances and events that occurred before each suicide or attempted suicide
- General location
- Demographic information
- Occupational category
- Method used in each suicide instance or attempted suicide
The law specifies timeframes by which the FBI will establish the LESDC and publish an annual report. To meet these goals, the FBI UCR Program began developing the LESDC and in mid-2022 will publish the first annual report on the FBI’s website.
In keeping with the FBI UCR Program’s other data collections, LESDC reports will not contain information that directly identifies any individuals. Only law enforcement agencies (as defined by the LESDC Act) can submit information.
This collection differs from other UCR data collections by using an expanded definition of law enforcement agency and law enforcement officer, to include corrections employees, 911 operators, judges, and prosecutors.
As with all UCR data collections, submissions to the collection remain voluntary, unless state-specific legislation mandates collection and reporting of incidents as defined within the law.
Contributing Data to LESDC
The collection will open for submissions by January 1, 2022. To contribute data to the LESDC, law enforcement agency personnel must first obtain LEEP authorization and access. LEEP accounts are available to personnel affiliated with the criminal justice system.
To apply for a LEEP account, go to cjis.gov and complete the online application. After obtaining LEEP access, agency personnel must then apply for access to the UCR Collection of Law Enforcement and Crime Tool, which is where the LESDC resides.
For more information about the LESDC, call (304) 625-5370 or email LESDC@fbi.gov.