The Police Foundation, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice and other law enforcement organizations, has developed a voluntary, non-disciplinary reporting system that allows law enforcement personnel to read about and anonymously share “close calls” or “near misses”, which provide lessons learned that can protect others from similar incidents.
A near miss is defined as a close call and/or unsafe occurrence that could have resulted in a serious injury or fatality if not for a fortunate break in the chain of events. Near misses oftentimes include contributing factors like hazardous conditions, subjects with concealed weapons, failed equipment, or lapses in situational awareness. Regardless of the situation, they provide lessons learned, and reporting a near miss allows fellow officers to learn from these incidents so they can go home to their loved ones after every shift.
Simply put, there are significantly more near misses than serious injuries or fatalities. It is evident in industries that collect near-miss data (aviation, fire/EMS services, health care/medicine, mining, nuclear power operations, and the military) that for every major incident, injury, or fatality, there are hundreds of near misses that could be analyzed and used in training and risk management to prevent a tragedy.
LEO Near Miss is strictly for promoting learning and enhancing officer safety and wellness. Users can visit the site, read the lessons learned from near misses experienced by other officers, and anonymously share their own near-miss experiences. Near-miss reports submitted to the site undergo a two-stage review process by law enforcement experts to remove all identifying information (ensuring anonymity when published) and to highlight important takeaways for improving officer safety. It takes less than 10 minutes to submit a basic report, and you can do it right from your smart phone or in-car computer. The Police Foundation does not require, keep, or share any personally identifiable information about who reported an incident (including e-mail addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, etc.) and does not require an officer to obtain any prior authorization to submit a report. Any personally identifiable information in the report is deleted before publishing so that the report is never tied to a specific agency, officer, location or incident in any identifiable way.
In addition to providing lessons learned, the LEO Near Miss system will identify and report on the underlying risk factors and characteristics that are contributing to near-miss incidents. This anonymized information will be made available to the law enforcement community to improve training, equipment, policies, procedures, and tactics in order to reduce risk, improve officer safety, and save lives.
Please consider sharing your near-miss experiences. The short time you take to submit a report could save the life of a fellow officer.
If you would like more information about LEO Near Miss, please visit our About page at https://www.leonearmiss.org/about/.