The sanctity of life must be at the heart of all police use of force encounters. This sacred preservation of life extends to the members of the public, both victims and suspects of crimes, and to the police officers that put themselves in harms way to serve their community.
As we, your police department, move forward with policing in the 21st Century, we are constantly re-evaluating the fundamentals of policing, such as how we respond to, and train for, confrontations that may necessitate force. Policies help codify these innovations into our department operations. For example, while our officers train on methods of de-escalation (attempting to mitigate the need for force) starting at the beginning of their academy, emphasizing this training and including such policies in our department manual helps to promote the concept more firmly into our department culture and establish more trust within our community by demonstrating accountability for our actions.
Our department is engaged in policy discussions at the local, national, and international level on an ongoing basis, while continuing to recognize the need to answer to our Santa Barbara community. As we have been working to create an updated draft of our department policy on use of force, we have relied on experts in the field, input from our officers, lawyers, US Supreme Court case law, national organizations who work collaboratively with researchers, and the voice of local community members and organizations. Listed below are several of the use of force draft policies that I intend to adopt, in some form, into our updated manual. I welcome your concerns and encouragement as we continue to update this policy, with the intention of addressing some of the concerns that are on many people’s minds, including those of our officers.
I welcome your concerns and encouragement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to view the policy draft: Use of Force Draft Policy