Whenever more restrictive deadly force standards are adopted by law enforcement agencies, the number of people killed by police decreases. Recent research suggests additional restrictions be incorporated in a police department’s use of force policy. The suggestions are:
- Require an officer to report whenever they point a firearm or use any type of force on a civilian.
- Required use of de-escalation techniques
- Verbal warnings before shooting
- Require the use alternatives before the use of deadly force
- Establish a use of force continuum that restricts the most severe types of force to the most extreme situation*
- Ban shooting at people in moving vehicles
- Ban chokeholds and strangleholds **
Today, Campaign Zero’s 8 Can’t Wait Campaign calls for police departments across America to adopt these principles in their use of force policies.
The UWPD approached the initiative, 8 Can’t Wait, with an open mind and a listening ear. The Use of Force Policy is found in chapter 4 of the policy manual. The current policy, revised in May 2019 meets or exceeds each of the additional restrictions as outlined by Campaign Zero’s 8 Can’t Wait Campaign.
Additionally, Campaign Zero’s 8 Can’t Wait Campaign called on police departments to enact a Duty to Intervene policy. While the policy manual addresses these responsibilities, UWPD will revise the policy manual and use the term Duty to Intervene to best reflect the intended responsibility of every officer to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officer and report the incident immediately to a supervisor.
Also, please take the time to click on the link to review our policy on Biased Policing.
* The UWPD policy is based on the reasonableness of the force used by officers during the circumstances they faced at the time and based on the information they knew at the time of the incident. Our current force options reflects an objective reasonableness standard.
** May only be used in a situation that meets all elements for the use of lethal force.