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Police Commission Approves Changes Emphasizing De-Escalation Before Deadly Force By LAPD

March 16, 2016  | 

In a significant new reform plan, Los Angeles police officials are launching an effort to reduce officers' use of deadly force by reviewing whether they could have done more to avoid the violent encounters, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Under a plan unanimously approved Tuesday by the Police Commission, the Los Angeles Police Department will begin evaluating whether officers did all they could to defuse tense situations before they used force and rewrite policies to emphasize this behavior. This review will occur along with the usual determination about whether officers were justified in the use of force.

In doing so, the LAPD will be turning "de-escalation" — a policing concept that dates back decades — into a policy with potential consequences for its 10,000 officers.

The move is already creating fault lines in the department. Backers say understanding how officers came to use force is essential to cutting the number of violent incidents and to improve police training.

But others, including the police union, worry the new policy will result in more second-guessing of split-second decisions made by officers and could even endanger police who avoid using force because they fear being disciplined.

Experts said the key will be identifying specific policy language that balances these issues — something the LAPD and other city officials are just beginning to develop.


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

tedb @ 3/17/2016 3:24 PM

For all the agencies out there who are having trouble attracting recruits...here is a pool of 10,000 trained and experi8enced recruits.

kevCopAz @ 3/18/2016 2:47 PM

Is it just me who is confused by this? What in the world training can you get to "deescalate" when someone is trying to kill you...run away? Granted all LEOs should attempt to avoid escalation when possible, don't force the situation and put yourself into a corner and have to shoot, any seasoned officer knows this, tactics and talking are great weapons to have with you. But how in the world will they arm chair this "policy" and enforce it? Dumb

DD16 @ 3/19/2016 4:21 AM

I agree, this is stupid. "Sir, please put the gun down and stop pointing it at me, come here, let me give you a big hug" Cops are going to either get killed due to hesitation or be in violation of department policy for appropriately acting on a threat and get screwed that way.

HRPufnstuf @ 3/19/2016 9:57 AM

"whether officers did all they could to defuse tense situations"

Wow! What a concept! I'm so glad those guys are "leaders." I mean, who would have thought of that? A police officer, trying to defuse a potential violent encounter before it happens! Why, that's probably never happened before, except for a few tens of t thousands of time a day in the U.S.

Robert @ 3/20/2016 10:37 AM

Typical response on this board...everything is fine, no reason to change. We will do as we want, taxpayers pay the bill...and people will continue to die. No change needed.
How many police shootings have an armed suspect actively firing at police...and how many are a pellet gun, mentally unstable person with a knife,etc...where de-escalation might work to lower the risk to everyone.

The commission is not talking about 'hugging someone shooting' *....the only question is does the poster know this, and is just making a silly statement for propaganda...or does the poster really not have the mental capability to understand the difference between policy statements and a tactical response.

The issue isn't that cell phones are making the job of LEO more difficult...the issue is that weaknesses in our LEO professionals (or lack of professionalism) are now being shown to the public....and the public doesn't like what it sees, and is demanding changes...PBA/LEO are fighting that change.

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