CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson asks for feedback on Use of Force Policy

Date: 
03/08/2017
EJohnson

Superintendent Eddie Johnson

Eddie Johnson, Superintendent, Chicago Police Department (CPD), released the latest draft of the Use of Force Policy and asks for input by Mar. 16. 

"The Chicago Police Department is committed to rebuilding public trust through stronger community partnerships and increased transparency, which is why we are seeking input on this important policy,” said Johnson. “With the incorporation of valuable feedback from the public and our officers, as well as the adoption of 21st Century policing best practices, we can put into a place a thoughtful policy that will protect the safety of every Chicagoan, including the dedicated public servants that wear the CPD star.” 

This revised draft policy places a heavy emphasis on the sanctity of life and de-escalation. Some of the highlights of the draft policy include:

  •  Sanctity of life – The Department’s highest priority is the sanctity of human life. In all aspects of their conduct, Department members will act with the foremost regard for the preservation of human life and the safety of all persons involved, including Department members, members of the general public and criminal suspects.
  •  Ethical behavior – The Department remains committed to prohibiting and preventing the use of unwarranted or excessive physical force and expects its members to demonstrate the highest degree of ethical behavior and professional conduct at all times. Officers are prohibited from using force based on gender, race, ethnicity, nation of origin, or any other protected characteristic. Additionally, officers will be expected to verbally intervene and report on any instance of known excessive force being used by another Department member.
  •  Use of Force – Department members may only use force that is objectively reasonable, necessary and proportional in order to ensure the safety of a member or third person, stop an attack, make an arrest, control a subject or prevent escape.
  •  De-escalation – Department members will seek to de-escalate situations as soon as practicable and will not resort to force unless all other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted or would clearly be ineffective under the circumstances. Officers will determine if the seriousness of the situation requires an immediate response or whether other reasonable alternatives may be employed.
  •  Deadly Force – The use of deadly force, which now also includes intentionally striking a subject's head with an impact weapon, is only authorized to prevent an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm posed to officers or another person.
  •  Principles of Force Mitigation – The Department remains committed to its officers using  the principles of force mitigation to de-escalate potential use of force incidents, including:

o Continual Communication – using verbal control techniques in an attempt to reduce confrontations.

o Tactical Positioning – making use of positioning, time and distance by isolating and containing the subject to create a "Zone of Safety."

o Time as a Tactic – continually evaluating the situation and the appropriate response options.

o Assistance – requesting assistance from other officers, mental health personnel, or specialized units, as necessary and appropriate. 

All suggestions, questions and inquiries can be directed to comment to the CPD website

At the end of this second comment period, CPD Command Staff, as well as legal and technical experts, will review the feedback and implement a final version of the General Order.

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