National Police Misconduct Database

The CJR Solution

A national police misconduct reporting system, coupled with strict adherence to clear standards for officer decertification and dismissal, is an important step toward creating a modern policing system trusted by the communities it protects.

As state, local, and federal lawmakers, mayors, law enforcement, and other key stakeholders consider advancing police reform in their respective jurisdiction, CJR recommends the following

  1. Develop a national police misconduct database detailing specific citizens’ complaints, disciplinary actions taken, the nature and extent of officer complaints, misconduct violations, and sub sequential officer termination and decertification.
  2. Mandatory reporting of misconduct data for measuring and detecting local, regional, and national patterns.
  3. Establish mandatory decertification and termination thresholds for severe police misconduct and behavior that threaten the safeguard of citizens.

This action brief is one in a series of issue briefs offering concrete solutions to save lives, reduce police brutality, promote equal justice, and build safe, positive relations between police and the people they serve. Other action briefs cover:

  1. Ban Chokeholds
  2. Duty to Intervene
  3. Ban No-Knock Warrants
  4. Qualified Immunity
  5. Reallocation of Police Funds
  6. Education and Training


Dr. Paul Elam, Chris Andrews, Dr. Warren Dukes, Dr. Jennifer Wyatt Bourgeois, and Bezil Taylor

Suggested Citation:
Center for Justice Research (2021). Police Reform Action Brief: National Police Misconduct Database. Texas Southern University.

The Center for Justice Research, at Texas Southern University, is available to discuss how they can advise on evidence-based, effective police reform policies and practices on the national, state and local levels – concrete steps that law enforcement can take to bridge the racial divide. They can be reached at or 713-313-6843.You can follow the Center for Justice Research on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @cjresearchtsu.