Effective Date: February 17, 2009
Last Reviewed: February 17, 2009


The manner in which police department members use force is an extremely critical issue that generates intense public scrutiny. When these incidents occur they demand a thorough and complete inquiry into all aspects of the incident. Only through an exhaustive inquiry can the facts of the incident evolve and public confidence be maintained.

Reportable Use of Force: It is the policy of this department to require a written report any time an employee:

1. Discharges a department issued or authorized firearm, for other than training or recreational purposes. The intentional discharge of firearms for ballistic testing, or firearms maintenance shall be excluded from the reporting requirement.

2. Takes action that results in, or is alleged to have resulted in, the injury or death of another person

3. Applies force through the use of a lethal or less-lethal weapon; or

4. Applies weaponless physical force which results in an injury to either the department member or another person.

The following are all considered to be reportable uses of force:

• discharging a firearm

• holding a subject at gunpoint

• striking with any impact weapon, including blocks with an impact weapon

• punching, kicking, or blocking with hands or feet

• use of baton or other tool as a non-impact come-along

• empty-hand control techniques, grappling, joint locks

• OC or Pepper Spray

• Pre-arrest handcuffing (Post arrest handcuffing is NOT reportable)

Definitions

Weaponless Physical Force: The application of force and hand control techniques that have little or no chance of producing injuries when gaining control over, or subduing non-compliant or resisting persons. These techniques include, but are not limited to: physical touching, gripping or holding, frisking, pain compliance measures, pressure point application, come-along hold, handcuffing or other custodial procedures.

Employee: For the purposes of the application of this policy, any person officially affiliated with the department whether full or part time, sworn, civilian, volunteer, or other.

Reportable Use of Force: A level of force used by a member of this department which would trigger a report as directed under this policy.

Note: The use of handcuffs as a restraint; physical removal of peacefully resisting demonstrators; display of weapon (unholstering or handling of firearm or other weapon); discharge of a weapon to euthanize an animal, the presence of police department personnel or animals, or the use of verbal commands are not considered a use of force for this policy.

Administrative Review:

The Chief of Police shall be responsible for the following:

• Ensuring that a thorough investigation was conducted and that all reports were prepared and submitted;

Conducting an administrative review of all reports submitted to determine whether the use of force was in compliance with department policy and procedures.

Use of Force Reports

The Use of Force Reports shall be filed with the Chief of Police.

Annual Analysis: THE CHIEF OF POLICE OR HIS DESIGNEE SHALL CONDUCT AN ANNUAL ANALYSIS OF ALL USE OF FORCE REPORTS AND MAKE WRITTEN FINDINGS OF SUCH ANALYSIS. SUCH ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS MAY INDICATE THE NEED FOR TRAINING, EQUIPMENT UPGRADES, OR POLICY MODIFICATION. THE REVIEW SHOULD CONSIDER:

• A comparison of the total number of use of force incidents compared to previous years;

• Type of force used;

• Type of weapons used;

• Effectiveness of the use of force techniques;

• Nature of the incident that required force;

• Intensity of attack or resistance;

• Suspect demographics;

• Day of the week, time of day, shift, squad involved;

• Years of experience of employee(s) involved;

• Uniform or plain clothed employee;

• Severity of injuries to employee or suspect, if any; and

• Summary breakdown of the disposition of the administrative reviews (justified/not justified, compliance with policy, etc.