The San Diego Police Department “has created standalone policies” to lessen officers’ use of force and earn back the communities’ trust, said a San Diego government online report on Wednesday. 

SDPD’s new standalone policies require its officers to practice techniques that uses less force or will result to “voluntary compliance” from the subject. In addition, officers are required to intervene and report to a supervisor when another officer employs excessive use of force.

The policies are a product of a series of public meetings and community feedback on police and community relations. 

“We will continue to work tirelessly to build trust and ensure consistent training,” said SDPD Chief David Nisleit. The chief added that the new policies give “clarity and direction” to the officers and the community it is serving.

Referring to the new SDPD reforms, he added in his Twitter post, “Protecting life must be the top goal of law enforcement”.

Many police reforms have been advanced in the US following the death of George Floyd.

San Diego had petitioned to ban chokeholds statewide earlier this month, but it seems as if the SDPD wanted to make sure it never happened again.

The report also included the procedures for SDPD’s new de-escalation, and duty to intervene policy. 

De-Escalation Policy Procedures

The new de-escalation policy requires:

  1. The creation of a distance or “buffer zone” between the officer and the civilian.
  2. The creation of an effective communication line between the officer and the civilian. In addition, consider factors such as mental illness, possible intoxication, and medical and physical conditions of the civilian. 
  3. Use of available resources, such as specialized units, negotiators, and PERT clinicians.

Furthermore, officers can use reasonable levels of force if the civilian does not want to voluntarily comply. 

Duty To Intervene Policy

Officers are required to intervene when another officer is in the act of using unreasonable force to a civilian. 

The officer can step in by “verbally advising” the other officer or physically restraining them. 

Furthermore, officers who use force indiscriminately will be reported to their supervisor promptly, as soon as the situation is safe. 

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