8cantwait.org Comparison to SPD Policy
1. Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds
The Springfield Police Department prohibits chokeholds unless the officer is in a lethal force encounter. Our policy does allow officers to use a Vascular Neck Restraint (VNR) in response to lower levels of resistance. This control technique is described as “…a method of controlling the movement and active resistance of a subject by safely restraining the neck and applying lateral pressure to the sides of the neck while protecting the structures of the front of the throat.” All officers are trained in this technique and required to recertify every year.
SOG 103.5 Resistance Response, section 7.4.3
2. Require De-Escalation
The concept of de-escalation has been practiced by SPD for years and training related to this premise can be found throughout SPD’s policies, including our response to resistance. In addition to the training received in the academy, SPD annual training requirements mandate 2 hours of refresher training to include crisis management, critical thinking, social intelligence, and de-escalation techniques.
3. Require Warning Before Shooting
Our Standard Operating Guidelines require officers to provide a clear and loud verbal warning, if practical, prior to firing their weapon.
4. Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting
Our Standard Operating Guidelines describe the various levels of control available to the officer based on the amount of resistance offered by the subject. In all situations, the level of control used by the officer is determined by the level of resistance offered by the subject. The use of deadly force is always a last resort.
SOG 103.5, Resistance Response, sections 7.6.1 and 7.6.2 specifically describe the situations in which lethal force is authorized.
5. Duty to Intervene
The SPD Code of Conduct requires employees to report any co-worker engaged in criminal behavior. Our ethics training, which is provided to all SPD employees, describes the requirement to intervene when improper behavior is observed and also notes that failure to intervene is potentially a violation of Federal Law.
6. Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
Our Standard Operating Guidelines address shooting at moving vehicles as it relates to vehicle pursuits, but there is currently no overall ban on shooting at moving vehicles.
7. Require Use of Force Continuum
SPD Standard Operating Guidelines include a Resistance Control Continuum. The level of control used by the officer is always determined by, and in response to, the level of resistance offered by the subject.
8. Require Comprehensive Reporting
Each use of force is documented in a police report. All situations in which a significant response to resistance is required (i.e. specific strikes are applied, injury occurs, medical treatment is required, or a firearm is discharged) require completion of a separate Resistance Control Form (RCF). The Resistance Control Form is reviewed by the involved officer’s chain of command and forwarded with a recommendation as to whether the force used was within policy and consistent with departmental training. The Chief of Police reviews each RCF and makes a final determination on whether the force use was appropriate.