The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced the official launch of the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection (LESDC), which took place on January 1, 2022. The LESDC provides a mechanism for law enforcement agencies to report suicides and attempted suicides of law enforcement personnel, as defined within the LESDC Act, for the purpose of compiling national statistics on these tragedies. As of January 1, 2022, law enforcement agencies can submit data to the LESDC about their current or former officers who die by or attempt suicide on that date and forward.
On June 16, 2020, the President of the United States signed Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act, which aims to help agencies better understand and prevent suicides among current and former law enforcement officers by mandating the FBI to collect information on incidents in which current and former law enforcement officers attempted or died by suicide.
Under the LESDC Act, the FBI must collect the following information for each incident involving an officer who dies by or attempts suicide:
- The circumstances and events that occurred before each suicide or attempted suicide
- The general location of each suicide or attempted suicide
- The demographic information of each law enforcement officer who dies by or attempts suicide
- The occupational category, including criminal investigator, corrections officer, line of duty officer, and 911 dispatch operator, of each law enforcement officer who dies by or attempts suicide
- The method used in each suicide or attempted suicide
The LESDC Act broadly defines law enforcement officer as “any current or former officer (including a correctional officer), agent, or employee of the United States, a state, Indian tribe, or a political subdivision of a state authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of the criminal laws of the United States, a state, Indian tribe, or a political subdivision of a state.” Furthermore, the LESDC Act defines the term law enforcement agency as, “a federal, state, tribal, or local agency engaged in the prevention, detection, or investigation, prosecution, or adjudication of any violation of the criminal laws of the United States, a state, tribal, or a political subdivision of a state.”
Because the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program already operates several other national data collections, the FBI tasked the UCR Program with establishing and managing the LESDC. Following the same specifications as the other UCR Program data collections, LESDC reports will not contain information that directly identifies any individuals, and only law enforcement agencies (as defined by the LESDC Act) can submit information. Agencies can access the LESDC via a web application in the FBI’s Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP). As with all UCR data collections, submission of information is voluntary unless otherwise mandated.
As stated in the LESDC Act, in June 2022, the FBI will publish information about the LESDC on the FBI’s Law Enforcement Data Explorer (a subset of the Crime Data Explorer).