1288 – Bill No. 274 Police Policy Manual

AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AN OPERATIONS MANUAL FOR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OF THE CITY OF RICH HILL

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN OF THE CITY OF RICH HILL, MISSOURI AS FOLLOWS

 

 

 

 

CITY OFRICH HILL

 

POLICE OPERATIONS MANUAL

 

  1. That the City of Rich Hill, Missouri does hereby adopt the Police Operations Manual attached hereto as Exhibit A.

 

  1. That all employees of the Rich Hill Police Department shall comply with all of the provisions of the Police Operations Manual.

 

 

This ordinance read two times and approved this 26th day of June 2007.

 

 

 ________________________________________

Richard Miller, Mayor                                                   

Attest:

 

 

_________________________________________

Rose Entrikin, City Clerk

 

 

Ayes: Humble, McDaniel, Dahman, Wills

Nays: None

 

 

POLICE OPERATIONS MANUAL INDEX

 

CHAPTER                                 TITLE

 

1                                                LEO OFFICERS CODE OF ETHICS                                            

 

2                                                USE OF FORCE                                                              

 

3                                                M-18 or X-26 TASER

 

4                                                OLEOCAPSIUM USE (PEPPER SPRAY)

 

5                                                VEHICULAR PURSUIT

 

5                                                PENALTY CLAUSE

 

CHAPTER 1

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S

CODE OF ETHICS

 

As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.

 

I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret, unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

 

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions.  With no compromise for crime and the relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

 

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption of bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers.  I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.

 

I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence.

 

I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself to my chosen profession law enforcement.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

USE OF FORCE

 

I.        PURPOSE

          The purpose of this policy is to provide police officers with guidelines on the use of deadly and non-deadly force.

 

II.       POLICY

          This department recognizes and respects the value and special integrity of each human life.  In vesting police officers with the lawful authority to use force to protect the public welfare, a careful balancing of all human interests is required.  Therefore, it is the policy of this department that police officers shall use only that force that is reasonably necessary to effectively bring an incident under control, while  protecting the lives of the officer and others.

 

III.       DEFINITIONS

          A.       Deadly force:  Any use of force that is likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.

          B.       Non-deadly force:  Any use of force other than that which is considered deadly force.

 

IV.      PROCEDURES

A.       Parameters for use of deadly force:

1.       Police officers are authorized to use deadly force in order to:

a)       Protect the police officer or others from what is reasonably believed to be a threat of death or serious bodily harm; or,

b)       Prevent the escape of a fleeing felon whom the officer has probable cause to believe will pose a significant threat to human life should escape occur.

2.    Before using a firearm, police officers shall identify themselves and state their intent to shoot, where feasible.

3.       A police officer may also discharge a weapon under the following circumstances:

                              a)       During range practice or competitive shooting events.

                             b)       To destroy an animal that represents a threat to public safety, or as a humanitarian measure where the animal is seriously injured.

4.       Police officers shall adhere to the following restrictions when their weapon is exhibited:

                             a)       Except for maintenance or during training, police officers shall not draw or exhibit their firearm unless circumstances create reasonable cause to believe that it may be necessary to use the weapon in conformance with this policy.

                             b)       Warning shots may NOT be fired under any circumstances.

                              c)       Decisions to discharge firearms at or from a moving vehicle shall be governed by this agency’s use-of-force policy and are prohibited if they present an unreasonable risk to the officer or others.

B.       Parameters for use of non-deadly force:

1.       Where deadly force is not authorized, officers shall use only that level of force that is reasonably necessary to de-escalate the incident and bring it under control.

2.       Police officers are authorized to use department-approved non-deadly force techniques and issued equipment for resolution of incidents as follows:

                              a)       To protect themselves or another from physical harm.

                              b)       To restrain or subdue a resistant individual.

                              c)       To bring an unlawful situation safely and effectively under control.

          C.       Training and qualifications:

                    1.       Deadly weapons:

a)       While on duty, police officers shall carry only weapons and ammunition authorized by the department.

b)       Authorized weapons are those with which the police officer has qualified and received departmental training on proper and safe usage, and that comply with departmental specifications.

c)       This law enforcement agency shall schedule training and qualification sessions for service weapons, and back-up and specialized weapons at least annually.

d)       Firearms qualification will be graded on a pass/fail basis. A passing qualification score will be a 70% of an approved firearms qualification course’s score.

e)       Police officers who fail to receive a passing score with their duty weapon(s) in accordance with department testing procedures shall be relieved of their police powers and immediately reassigned to non-enforcement duties.

f)        A police officer shall not be permitted to carry any weapon with which he/she has not been able to qualify during the most recent qualification period.

g)       A police officer who has taken extended leave, break in service, or suffered an illness or injury that could affect his firearms ability will be required to re-qualify before returning to enforcement duties.

                    2.       Non-deadly force weapons and methods:

                               a)       A police officer is not permitted to use a weapon unless qualified in its proficient use as determined by standardized training procedures.

                              b)       The following non-deadly weapons are authorized:

                                       1)       Baton – straight (wood or plastic), expandable, PR-24 type.

                                        2)       Oleocapsium type sprays (pepper)

                                        3)       “Beanbag” or net type projectile rounds

                                        4)       M-18 or X 26 Taser

c)      The following type weapons are not authorized except for last resort deadly force use:

                                        1)       Flashlights, Kel-lights etc.

                                        2)       Knives

                                        3)       Handcuffs and other restraint devices

d)       Items that are specifically prohibited from being used as weapons by department officers   are listed below but are not all inclusive:

                                        1)       Sap(s) of any type

                                        2)       Sap gloves (unless specifically     authorized for riot duty)

                                        3)       “Billie” type sticks or any club type instrument that is not a law enforcement recognized baton

                                        4)       Brass knuckles or any device used to enhance the striking power of the fist or open hand

e)       Officers should note that the carriage of such weapons on items listed in Chapter 2 Section IV C (d) 4 while on duty is prohibited except when confiscated from subjects and being processed for evidence           or disposal as confiscated items.

D.       Reporting uses of force:

1.       A written report prepared according to departmental procedures will be required in the following situations:

                              a)       When a firearm is discharged outside of the firing range.

                              b)       When a use of force results in death or injury.

                              c)       When a non-lethal weapon is used on a   person.

2.       The Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer will be immediately summoned to the scene and will comply with investigative procedures as required by the department in the following situations:

                              a)       When a firearm is discharged outside of the firing range.

                              b)       When a use of force results in death or serious injury.

                              c)       When a subject complains that an injury   has been inflicted.

                              d)       When misconduct is alleged or suspected.

E.       Departmental response:

                    1.       Deadly force incident

                               a)       Where a police officer’s use of force causes death, the officer shall be placed on administrative leave with pay after completing all internal investigative requirements, and until it is determined by a medical physician that the police officer is ready to return to duty.

                               b)       The department shall request that the county or state conduct both an administrative and criminal investigation of the incident.

                    2.       Administrative review of critical incidents:

                               a)       All reported uses of force will be reviewed by the appropriate departmental authority to determine whether: departmental rules, policy or procedures were violated, the relevant policy was clearly understandable and effective to cover the situation, and department training is currently adequate.

                              b)       All findings of policy violations or training inadequacies shall be reported to the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer for resolution and/or discipline.

                              c)       All use-of-force incident reports shall be retained as required by state law.

                              d)       There will be a regular review of use-of-force incidents by the appropriate departmental authority to ascertain training and policy needs.

                              e)       An annual summary report of use-of-force incidents will be published and made available to the Mayor, City Alderman, and public.

 

WARNING

This directive is for departmental use only and does not apply in any criminal or civil proceeding.  The department policy should not be construed as a creation of higher legal standard of safety or care in an evidentiary sense with respect to third-party claims.  Violations of this directive will only form the basis for departmental administrative sanctions.

CHAPTER 3

 

M-18 / X-26 TASER

 

I.        PURPOSE

 

          It is the purpose of this policy to provide guidance to law enforcement officers for the deployment and use of the M-18 / X-26 Taser within the use of force policy of the Rich Hill Police Department. The M-18 or X-26 Taser will be authorized for carry to only sworn officers of the Rich Hill Police Department who have attended and completed a qualified training course on the use of less than lethal munitions / Taser course.

 

II.       POLICY

 

          A.       The use of the Taser constitutes a Use of Force, and is regulated under the Rich Hill Police Department Use of Force Policy (Chapter 2). The use of the Taser is addressed in Chapter 2 Section IV-C of the Use of Force policy consistent with the use of OC Chemical Agent. The Taser is NOT intended to be used as a tool of coercion to intimidate an individual into compliance with simple requests or directives by an officer.

          B.       The decision for an officer to deploy a Taser will ultimately rest on the officer’s judgment and application of department policies. A suspect’s actions, including verbal statements and body language should be taken into account before the deployment of a Taser.

 

          C.       The Taser may be used at distances up to 21 feet when one or more of the following exists:

                    1.       The suspect is punching, kicking, or physically resisting obstructing or opposing an officer.

                    2.       Lesser force options are ineffective.

                    3.       The officer reasonably believes that the suspect poses a credible threat to themselves or others.

                    4.       The suspect poses a threat from a distance and the officer is at risk of injury if he/she attempts to close the gap.

                    5.       Other considerations on deployment of a Taser include:

                              a)       Imminent threat of the suspect to the officer or others

                              b)       Suspect actively resisting arrest 

                              c)       Severity of the crime at issue

                              d)       Attempt by the suspect to evade apprehension by flight

                    6.       Officer/Suspect factors that may be considered:

 

                             a)       Age: The Taser should not be used on any juvenile under the age of 12 and/or a juvenile who appears to be physically under the age of 12.

                             b)       Pregnancy: The Taser shall not be deployed on women who are known to be pregnant and/or women who appear to be pregnant.

                              c)       Skill levels, Taser should not be deployed by any officer who has not been trained and certified in its use.

                              d)       Numbers of suspects and numbers of officers

                              e)       Relative strength of officers and suspects.

                    7.       Special Considerations:

                              a)       Closeness or possession of a weapon by the suspect

                              b)       Injury or exhaustion of the officer

                              c)       Officer on the ground

                              d)       Distance between the officer and the suspect

                              e)       Special knowledge relative to the suspect

                              f)        Availability of other options 

 

III.       M-18 / X-26 TASER-Definition

 

          A.       The Taser is a device that uses a 2-Watt electrical signal to temporarily override the central nervous system and directly control skeletal muscles.  This causes an uncomfortable contraction of the muscle tissue, allowing the Taser to physically debilitate a target regardless of pain tolerance or mental focus.  The Taser is classified as less lethal force.  By definition, less lethal devices are not likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

 

          B.       The Taser is deployed as an additional law enforcement tool, and is not intended to replace firearms or self defense techniques.  The Taser may be used to control a dangerous or violent suspect when deadly force does not appear to be justified and / or necessary;  or attempts to subdue a suspect by other conventional tactics have been, or will likely be ineffective in the situation at hand; or there is reasonable expectation that it will be unsafe for officers to approach within the contact range of the subject.

 

          C.       The Taser has a records storage function where it stores the time and date that it was fired.  This data provides complete and accurate documentation on each firing.  These records provide invaluable information in the event of an allegation of the misuse of the device.  The Taser also discharges “marking chads” which can be traced back to the serial numbered cartridge fired from.          

 

IV.      PROCEDURE

 

          A.       Tasers shall be issued to and used only by officers who have completed the Taser training program

          B.       Only properly functioning and charged Tasers shall be carried in the field.

          C.       Each discharge, including accidental discharges, of a Taser, shall be investigated and documented utilizing a general report form (except for testing). (If the discharge is accidental then it will be a report in and of itself. If it is deployed, then the Taser usage will be covered in the general report detailing its usage.)

          D.       The Taser is programmed to give a five second discharge. The probes or wires should not be touched during this time period, as anyone coming in contact with the probes will receive the same discharge. Officers should avoid stepping on or tripping over the wires.

          E.       The Taser should never be aimed at and/or discharged at the eyes, genitals, or face of a suspect.

          F.       Officers should keep their hands away from the front of the unit at all times unless the safety slide is forward and the Taser is deactivated.

          G.      Officers will always replace air cartridges by their expiration date. Outdated cartridges will be used for training only.

          H.       The Taser should not be fired near flammable liquids and fumes. The Taser can ignite gasoline or other flammables. Some self defense sprays are flammable and should not be used in conjunction with the Taser.

          I.        All uses of the Taser will be reviewed by the supervisor.

 

V.       OFFICERS DISCHARGING A TASER SHALL:

 

          A.       Request the response of a supervisor if a supervisor is available.

          B.       Before the use of the Taser, if practical, the officer shall verbally warn the suspect that the Taser will be deployed if the suspect does not cease their combative behavior and/or comply with the officer’s commands.

          C.       Persons who have been subjected to the Taser or the probes shall be treated as follows:

 

                   1.       Once in custody, officer(s) shall advise the supervisor that the person has been subjected to the Taser and relate the approximate time the action occurred.  If the probes penetrate the skin, the puncture sites shall be brought to the attention of the officer’s supervisor as soon as possible.  Medical personnel should also be notified immediately.

                   2.       Officers will not remove the probe if the barb shaft is imbedded so deep as to prevent the probe from hanging loosely. NOTE: the probes are #8 straightened fishhooks that can only penetrate a maximum of ¼ inch. The officer will request EMS to examine the person if the probes cannot be removed, because of depth of penetration or hit to the head, groin, or a woman’s breast. Officers should not perform the probe removal if the probes are located in the head, facial area or other sensitive area’s, i.e. groin, breasts.  Officers are to wear rubber gloves when removing probes from skin. Officers will use the two finger method for removing probes. Officers orEMSwill administer to each puncture site a band aid.

                  3.       If EMS is on scene, they will make the determination if the person should or should not be transported to the hospital for further evaluation. Officers should keep in mind that extreme, violent behavior may be the result of drugs or alcohol, andEMSmay be necessary to treat the drug overdose immediately.

                 4.       If the probes used are no longer impaled in the skin, the subject may be released to the custody of the officer(s).

                 5.       If EMS recommends that the person be transported to the hospital, thenEMSor Rich Hill Police Personnel will transport the person.

                 6.       Officers must be aware that one easily overlooked aspect of injury in applying a Taser to a person is that of falling from a standing position. An examination with particular emphasis on secondary injuries should be performed by the EMS if on-scene, otherwise by on-scene supervisor.

                 7.       Officers shall complete an incident report to be submitted with the arrest and booking report. Officers will document the Taser use in the incident report.

                 8.       When booking the suspect into the detention facility the arresting officer will advise the detention officer that Taser was deployed on this individual and it will be noted on the medical evaluation from.

                 9.       Since probes may have blood on them (biohazard), the officer(s) shall wear protective latex gloves when handling. The wires shall be wound around the cartridge. The probes shall be inverted into the portals they originally were deployed from. The cartridge will then be placed inside one or the used rubber gloves for transport and placed in the Evidence locker in the property room.

 

VI.      TACTICAL DEPLOYMENT

 

          A.       Use common sense.

          B.       Use verbal commands and point laser sight at subject before firing. Care should be used to avoid pointing the laser at subject’s or fellow officer’s eyes.

          C.       Before the use of Taser, if practical, broadcast “Taser” or “Clear”, indicating a use of Taser is imminent to prevent unintentional shootings.

          D.       Have a second Air Cartridge present or a second Taser ready to fire in case probes miss the target, a malfunction occurs, or an air cartridge is a dud.

          E.       When practical a backup/arrest team (depending on situation possibly with lethal force option) will be at the ready prior to deploying the Taser.

          F.       Aim at center of mass if possible. Watch for thick and or loose clothing. If probes hit clothing, the electrical current can penetrate for a maximum of 2 ¼ inches away from skin.

          G.      Use cover and distance to insure the officer’s safety.

          H.       Use to avert violent confrontation.

          I.        If target runs, officer(s) must run also to prevent wires from breaking.

          J.       Avoid use on slanted rooftops or on ledges of tall buildings, or tall fences.

          K.       Remember that the successful deployment of the Taser when more than one officer is present requires clear, concise communication between officers.

 

VII.     TRAINING

          A.       Officers must successfully complete certification training before being authorized to use the Taser.

          B.       Refresher Taser training will be provided on a Tri-Annual basis for all officers.

          C.       Detailed records of training will be maintained, including hours of training, lesson plans, and related documentation.

 

  1. VIII.         TRACKING

 

          A.       When Tasers are issued to officers, the serial numbers and numbers of the cartridges will be logged and tracked.

          B.       During Monthly inspections, supervisors will verify the serial numbers of the Taser and cartridges for each unit.

          C.       No officer will be permitted to carry any cartridges that have not been authorized by the Police Department.

          D.       Tasers will be handled using the same precautions and security used for firearms. This requires the officer to ensure his Taser is locked and secured while off duty in order to protect those who may come in contact with it.

 

CHAPTER 4

 

PEPPER AEROSOL RESTRAINT SPRAY

 

I.        PURPOSE

          The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the use of oleoresin capsicum (OC) aerosol restraint spray.

 

II.       POLICY

          This agency has issued OC aerosol restraint spray to provide officers with an additional use-of-force option for gaining compliance of resistant or aggressive individuals in arrest and other enforcement situations.  It is the policy of this agency that officers use OC when warranted, but only in accordance with the guidelines and procedures set forth here and in this agency’s use-of-force policy.

 

III.       PROCEDURES

 

          A.       Authorization

                    1.       Only officers who have completed the prescribed course of instruction on the use of OC are authorized to carry the device.

                    2.       Officers whose normal duties/assignments may require them to make arrests or supervise arrestees shall be required to carry departmentally authorized OC while on duty.

                    3.       Uniformed officers shall carry only departmentally authorized OC canisters in the prescribed manner on the duty belt.  Non-uniformed officers may carry OC in alternative devices as authorized by the agency.

 

          B.       Usage Criteria

                    1.       OC spray is considered a use of force and shall be employed in a manner consistent with this agency’s use-of-force policy.  OC is a force option following verbal compliance tactics on the use-of-force continuum.

                    2.       OC may be used when:

                              a)       verbal dialogue has failed to bring about the subject’s compliance, and

                              b)       the subject has signaled his intention to actively resist the officer’s efforts to make the arrest.

                    3.       Whenever practical and reasonable, officers should issue a verbal warning prior to using OC against a suspect.

                    4.       An officer may use deadly force to protect himself from the use or threatened use of OC when the officer reasonably believes that deadly force will be used against him if he becomes incapacitated.

                    5.       Once a suspect is incapacitated or restrained, use of OC is no longer justified.

 

          C.       Usage Procedures

                    1.       Whenever possible, officers should be upwind from the suspect before using OC and should avoid entering the spray area.

                    2.       An officer should maintain a safe distance from the suspect of between two and 10 feet.

                    3.       A single spray burst of between one and three seconds should be directed at the suspect’s eyes, nose and mouth.  Additional burst(s) may be used if the initial or subsequent burst proves ineffective.

                    4.       Use of OC should be avoided, if possible, under conditions where it may affect innocent bystanders.

 

          D.       Effects of OC and Officer Response

                    1.       Within several seconds of being sprayed by OC, a suspect will normally display symptoms of temporary blindness, have difficulty breathing, burning sensation in the throat, nausea, lung pain and/or impaired thought processes.

                    2.       The effects of OC vary among individuals.  Therefore, all suspects shall be handcuffed as soon as possible after being sprayed.  Officers should also be prepared to employ other means to control the suspect to include, if necessary, other force options consistent with agency policy if he does not respond sufficiently to the spray and cannot otherwise be subdued.

                    3.       Immediately after spraying a suspect, officers shall be alert to any indications that the individual needs medical care.  This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, breathing difficulties, gagging, profuse sweating and loss of consciousness.  Upon observing these or other medical problems or if the suspect requests medical assistance, the officer shall immediately summon emergency medical aid.

                    4.       Suspects that have been sprayed shall be monitored           continuously for indications of medical problems and shall       not be left alone while in police custody.

                    5.       Officers should provide assurance to suspects who have been sprayed that the effects are temporary and encourage them to relax.

                    6.       Air will normally begin reducing the effects of OC spray within 15 minutes of exposure.  However, once the suspect has been restrained, officers shall assist him by rinsing and drying the exposed area.

                    7.       Assistance shall be offered to any individuals accidentally exposed to OC spray who feel the effects of the agent.  All such incidents shall be reported as soon as possible to the officer’s immediate supervisor and shall be detailed in an incident report.

 

          E.       Reporting Procedures

                    1.       Accidental discharges as well as intentional uses of OC spray against an individual in an enforcement capacity shall be reported to the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer as soon as possible.

                    2.       A use-of-force report shall be completed following all discharges of OC spray except during testing, training, malfunction or accidental discharge.

 

          F.       Replacement

                    1.       All OC spray devices shall be maintained in an operational and charged state by assigned personnel.  Replacements for damaged, inoperable or empty devices are the responsibility of officers to notify the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer.

                    2.       Replacements of OC spray canisters shall occur when the unit is less than half full, as determined by weighing the canister.

                    3.       OC canisters shall be inspected and weighed at the firing range during firearms qualification.  A record of this fact shall be maintained by the appropriate agency authority.

                    4.       Unexplained depletion of OC canisters shall require an investigation and written report by the officer’s supervisor to the commanding officer.

 

CHAPTER 5

VEHICULAR PURSUIT

 

1.       PURPOSE

The purpose of this order is to establish policy and procedures for    police vehicular pursuits.

 2.      POLICY

The police have a legal mandate to enforce the law and protect the public.  Because of this, some instances of police pursuit are both necessary and unavoidable.  However, no assignment is of such importance, and no task is to be expedited with such emphasis, that the principles of safety become secondary.  There is no duty of such magnitude that justifies disregard for the welfare of innocent persons.  In the event of vehicular pursuit, no more than two (2) vehicles shall ever engage in a pursuit.  The lead car will act as the primary pursuit vehicle, while the second unit will handle all radio traffic pertinent to the pursuit.

3.       DESCRIPTIONS AND DEFINITIONS:

A.       Pursuit or Vehicular Pursuit: 

An active attempt by one or more police officers in police vehicles to apprehend a suspect or violator operating a motor vehicle, while that person is attempting to avoid capture by using high speed driving or other tactics, such as driving off the road, or making sudden maneuvers.

B.                 Primary Unit: 

The police unit that initiates the pursuit or any unit that assumes operational responsibility for the pursuit.

C.                 Dangerous Felony: 

A felony that involves an actual or threatened attack, which the officer has reasonable cause to believe, could result or has resulted in death or serious bodily injury (e. g., aggravated assault, armed robbery, murder, rape).

D.                 Roadblock:  

Any method, restriction, or obstruction, used or intended for the purpose of preventing free passage of motor vehicles on a roadway in order to effect the apprehension of an actual or suspected violator in a motor vehicle.

E.                 Ranking Officer

The Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer will be the ranking officer assuming command and control of a pursuit.

4.       PROCEDURE 

          I.  General Guidelines

No situation in police work has more potential for disaster than does a police vehicular pursuit.  Pursuit driving, especially high-speed pursuit, should be regarded as a measure of last resort; apprehending the violator should never be the sole deciding factor in a pursuit situation.  The situation under which pursuits occur and the        manner in which they are conducted must be strictly controlled.

Written policy is particularly important because of the danger of “pursuit fixation” – becoming so engrossed in apprehending the fleeing           violator that the safety of others is forgotten or ignored.  In many pursuit situations, it becomes a personal challenge to the police officer rather than a response to a violation of the law.  In these instances, the challenge to police authority seems more important than the offense.

The officer, however, must use sound judgment in achieving a balance between apprehension of the offender and concern for the risks involved. The purpose of this General Order is to provide the criteria and procedures to be followed in making this decision.  Officers should use good judgment and discontinue a pursuit when the risks outweigh the potential benefits of apprehension.  Indeed, such a choice may rightly be viewed as indicative of maturity and reasonableness.

 II.  Rules for Engaging in Pursuits

The following rules are designed for internal departmental use only in evaluating pursuit decisions in our jurisdiction and are not intended to create a higher standard of performance than normally required by law.

A.  When Pursuit is Allowed:  The decision to initiate pursuit must           be based on the pursing officer’s conclusion that there is immediate danger to the public should the suspect remain at large.  Any law enforcement officer in an authorized, properly equipped emergency vehicle may initiate pursuit when all of the following criteria are met:

1.  The suspect operating the vehicle refuses to stop at the direction of the officer, and;

2.  The suspect exhibits the intention to avoid arrest by using a vehicle to flee apprehension for one or more of the following alleged actual or attempted felonious crimes:

a.   Murder/Manslaughter

b.   Armed Robbery

c.    Rape/First and Second-Degree Sexual Offenses

d.   Aggravated  (Felonious)  Assault

e.    Kidnapping

f.     Felonious Hit and Run

g.    First-Degree Burglary

h.    Arson

3.  The Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer as the supervisor of the pursuing officer authorizes continuing pursuit.  Ranking Officers may also authorize pursuits for any offense(s) in those cases where a violator generally maintains a lawful speed, but refuses to stop in response to an officer’s signal.  The officer(s) is authorized to follow the violator and call for such additional assistance as necessary to affect a stop within the parameters of this General Order.

B.  When Pursuit is Not Allowed

1.  Vehicles without adequate emergency equipment (i.e., red/blue light(s) and siren) are not to engage in pursuits.

2.  Vehicles in need of obvious maintenance (e.g., brakes, steering, suspension, etc.) are not to engage in pursuits.

3.  Pursuits shall not be made when driving conditions are unfavorable, due to weather, road conditions, traffic or pedestrian congestion, or time of day.

4.  No pursuits shall be made when the police vehicle is carrying civilian passengers, including student interns.

5.  Pursuits are not allowed when the identity of the violator has been established to the point that a later apprehension and identification is likely through other means unless there exists an exigent need of apprehension (e. g., pursuit of a known serial killer).

6.  Pursuits are not to be continued whenever the pursing officers have reason to believe that the fleeing vehicle is being operated by a juvenile and the offense constitutes a misdemeanor or non-dangerous felony, and the safety factors involved are obviously greater than those with which the juvenile can cope.  For purposes of this policy, a juvenile is any person under the age of sixteen (16) years.

7.  Pursuits must be terminated when continuous contact with the fleeing vehicle by the primary unit is unable to be maintained.

8.  Pursuits must be terminated when the primary unit(s) has traveled such distance so as to lose effective communications with the Dispatcher.

9.  Continuous pursuits in cases of other categories of offenses (misdemeanors, infractions, or non-dangerous felonies) are prohibited without the express permission of the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer.

10.  Pursuits must be immediately terminated upon the order of the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer.

 III.                Procedures for Engagement in Pursuit

A.  Respective Responsibilities

1.  Primary Unit

a.  The responsibility for the decision to initiate the pursuit rests with the individual officer.  When engaged in a pursuit, safety is to be the prime consideration.  Pursuing officers have an obligation to use due care in the operation of their vehicles so as to keep same under control and, thereby, safeguard the lives of both themselves and others.

b.  Officers are obligated to discontinue pursuit whenever the level of risk from the pursuit outweighs the potential benefit for public safety.

c. Emergency lights, siren and headlamps are to be used throughout the duration of the pursuit.

d.  Communications is to be notified immediately upon initiation of the pursuit.  The officer is to advise all information pertinent to the pursuit (location of travel, vehicle description, reason for pursuit, license number if known, etc.).  The Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer is to be immediately notified and constantly updated of the changing conditions of the pursuit.

e.  Officers must immediately terminate the pursuit upon the command of the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer or a ranking Officer.

f.  Officers must file a written report of the incident as required by this directive.

2.       Assisting Units

a.  Officers in this role must abide by the same rules as the primary unit as pertains to safety concerns.

b.  Units in this role are present for support, but may move up, replace the primary unit, or otherwise take action as approved by the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer.

3.       Supervisory Units

a.  The Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer may terminate any pursuit at his/her discretion and is responsible for monitoring the progress of the pursuit and ordering any action(s) they fell necessary for the safety of those involved and the public.

4.  Telecommunications

a.  Communications personnel have the responsibility to coordinate unit directions during the pursuit until command is assumed by the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer.

b.  Telecommunications will coordinate the pursuit with other involved agencies in conjunction with instructions from the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer.

c.  Telecommunications will advise of any hazardous conditions, which may affect the conditions of the pursuit.

          B.  Operations and Tactics

1.  Unmarked Police Vehicles may initiate vehicular pursuits, provided the vehicles are properly running and equipped with emergency lights and siren, and with the stipulation that the vehicle must withdraw from its role as the primary unit when a marked unit is in place to take over that role.  The unmarked vehicle(s) will then serve as an assisting unit unless otherwise directed to discontinue by the commanding officer.

2.  Number of vehicles in pursuit is restricted to two, unless otherwise authorized by the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer due to exigent circumstances.

3.  Offensive Tactics such as ramming, bumping, or otherwise deliberate contacts are not authorized.

4.  Roadblocks:

a.  Roadblocks of any kind, used for the purpose of stopping a motor vehicle containing a known or suspected violator are prohibited.

b.  Deliberately wrecking or ramming another vehicle is likely to be considered a use of deadly force.  Consequently, intentionally wrecking or ramming a motor vehicle is authorized only if deadly force is warranted for that particular situation.

5.  Intersections are to be approached by decreasing the speed of the police vehicles so as to ensure that no other vehicles will be      adversely affected by the operation of the police vehicles.

6.  Divided Highways:  Officers are not to pursue any vehicle the wrong way on a divided highway unless specifically authorized by Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer.

7.  Spacing and following distances are to be maintained to ensure that police vehicles may take the appropriate evasive and/or stopping action if necessary.

8.  School Zones:  Pursuits are not to be conducted through such zones during those times, which would indicate the greatest potential risk to pedestrian and school traffic.

          C.  Inter-jurisdictional Pursuits

1.  The Communications Center shall notify outside agencies when this Department is in pursuit in their territory.  The notification will specify that the call is either a request for assistance or only a courtesy notification with no participation by them requested.  This decision is to be made by supervisory personnel.

2.  Officers may assist in pursuits initiated by other agencies which are traveling through our jurisdiction if:

a.  Permission is granted by the on-duty ranking officer; and

b.  The emergency nature of the pursuit dictates immediate           assistance to be warranted; and

c.  All Departmental policies including offense categories for allowed pursuits are followed by all units of this agency;

d.  No more than one car from our agency may participate unless additional units are authorized by the squad supervisor whose decision shall be based on the demonstrated need for such additional assistance.

3.  Officers who have received authorization to continue pursuits into neighboring jurisdictions are still obligated to respond within the guidelines as set forth in this policy.

a.  Pursuits, which are ordered, terminated by the supervising officers of neighboring agencies due to safety factors will also be terminated by our units.

b.  No more than one unit from our agency will assist in support role in such pursuits unless there is a recognized and authorized need for additional units as per the instructions of the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer of our agency.

c.  When a pursuing unit or a supervisor has knowledge of           any tactics that are being or are about to be initiated by members of another agency that would constitute a violation   of this policy, or other Departmental policies, all Departmental units are to terminate active pursuit immediately.  Officers may follow at a safe distance and speed to render assistance should the pursuit be concluded with the stopping of the fleeing vehicle.  Officers are not to re-engage in the active pursuit once termination has been ordered subsequent to the provisions of this subsection.

d.  Pursuits which would appear to be heading past a point one (1) mile outside the jurisdictional limits should be re-          evaluated by all officers involved, especially supervisory personnel, as to the exigency of continued pursuit.

                    D.  Overtaking Violators

1.  Although routine overtaking of violators does not normally fall within definition of “pursuits”, the issue is rightfully addressed in this section due to the comparable nature of such actions.

2.  Overtaking is to be considered within the same safety guidelines as pursuits in general.  That is, overtaking is a necessary vehicular operation in the apprehension of offenders; however, the safety of the public at large must be foremost in the effort.

a.  Overtaking efforts are to be conducted in a safe manner,           with officers considering the severity of the initial offenses, weather conditions, road conditions, motor vehicle congestion, pedestrian traffic, and any other pertinent factors relative to the initiation and successful completion of such maneuvers.

b.  Officers at any time are to use emergency lighting and siren.

c.  At any time an officer recognizes that an overtaking attempt is likely to require a significant distance to be covered at increased speeds, he/she is to advise the dispatcher of the situation and request immediate notification of the on duty ranking officer.  The ranking officer will immediately monitor the situation and decide if a vehicular pursuit within the meaning of this policy statement exists.  If, in the opinion of the ranking officer, such a situation is deemed to exist, all Departmental policies relative to the event are to be considered in effect.

d.  During the course of enforcement activities, specific incidents may escalate from routine overtaking situations if         the driver attempts to evade apprehension.  When this occurs, applicable vehicular pursuit policy and procedures are to be considered in effect.

          E.  Use of Firearms: 

Discharging a firearm from a pursuit vehicle or at a      fleeing suspect vehicle is warranted only when deadly force is necessary.

          F.  Documentation

1.  “A Report of Police Vehicular Pursuit” will be completed by the officer initiating the pursuit.  This report is to be submitted to the appropriate supervisory personnel (Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer) prior to the end of the officer’s tour of duty.  Supervisory personnel may require additional documentation from the initiating officer and other personnel involved in the pursuit.  The report and all supporting documentation are to be forwarded to the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer.

2.  In addition to the “Report of Police Vehicular Pursuit” the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer will prepare a supervisory overview, in memorandum form, in which he/she will review all pertinent information concerning the pursuit.  This report is to include the supervisor’s findings as to adherence to the provisions of this General Order by all agency personnel involved in the pursuit.  Also, the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer should address any other issues pertinent to the incident (e. g. need for additional training, recommendations for any disciplinary action indicated, performance of equipment etc.).

3.  An annual analysis of all reports of vehicular pursuit will be conducted by the Supervisor or Highest Ranking Officer and submitted to the Mayor.

 

CHAPTER 6

 

PENALTY CLAUSE

 

I.        Violations

          Police officers employed by the City OfRich Hillin violation of this manual shall be subject to disciplinary action or immediate dismissal as stipulated in the Ordinance for Work Rules and Procedures for the Employees of the City ofRich Hilland at the will of the Board of Aldermen.

 

 

 

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