USC Safe Communities Institute’s LEWIS (Law Enforcement Work Inquiry System) Registry is the first public database for police officer firings and resignations nationwide
May 24, 2021 – The USC Safe Communities Institute (SCI)—a research institute in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy—announced today the pilot roll-out of the LEWIS (Law Enforcement Work Inquiry System) Registry, named after Rep. John Lewis. The LEWIS Registry will be the first comprehensive national catalog of police officers who have been terminated or resigned due to misconduct.
Designed to hold police officers and departments accountable and increase public trust in law enforcement, the LEWIS Registry is a trustworthy record of officer misconduct. The registry documents details such as excessive use of force, corruption, domestic violence, sexual assault, physical assault, harassment, perjury, hate group affiliation or falsifying a police report. All information in the registry is drawn from public sources, such as official department statements, court records, police notices, news reports, and other open sources.
“A national police misconduct registry of abusive, violent and corrupt police officers is necessary to ensure transparency,” said U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA 37rd District). “This will hold officers accountable to the people they are supposed to serve and protect, as well as prevent bad officers from leaving one department and being hired in another.”
The registry is being piloted with an intention to launch an interactive beta version later this year. When launched the public portal of the registry will be searchable and open to the public so that the community can see if an officer has been previously fired or resigned due to misconduct. The police department portal is intended to be used by police departments as a component of applicant screening before hiring a police officer. In addition, the registry will be used for research into trends and patterns of police misconduct, leading to new solutions for reforming and improving law enforcement practices.
“I am a proud supporter of the LEWIS Registry, a comprehensive national database providing immediate access to officer applicant screening to identify officers previously fired for misconduct,” said former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who also serves as chairman of the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at USC Price. “Communities must have the best-qualified individuals protecting and serving in these most vital positions of public trust.”
Co-founded by SCI Director Dr. Erroll Southers and DreamView President and Chief Information Officer Dr. Güez Salinas, the LEWIS Registry has been in development for nearly a year with input and support from dozens of community stakeholders, law enforcement professionals, academia and legislators. Alongside DreamView, a company creating disruptive technology for global social change, key partners to the LEWIS Registry also include Dr. Ben Graham and the Security and Political Economy Lab.
“I am proud to support this worthwhile effort,” said Art Acevedo, chief of police for the Miami Police Department and president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “A registry will help America’s peace officers build trust with the communities we serve and will instill confidence in our police services throughout our nation.”
About the Safe Communities Institute
The Safe Communities Institute (SCI) has more than 70 years of engagement in research, interdisciplinary education and collaboration in the advancement of sustainable public safety strategies, policies and programs. The Institute provides a 21st century approach to public safety by adopting a multidisciplinary “whole of community” methodology, which informs SCI education programs, research projects and community engagement.
About the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, here and abroad. The School achieves this mission through education and research that promotes innovative solutions to the most critical issues facing society. For more than 90 years, the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy has earned the public trust by creating path-breaking research and scholarship.
Professor of the Practice in National and Homeland Security
Director, Safe Communities Institute
Director of Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies
Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy
Chairman, USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy