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Pasco Police Use of Force Procedure directs officers to use de-escalation when reasonable under the totality of circumstances.
The officers are trained in de-escalation and regularly train on the application.
When reasonable under the totality of circumstances, officers should gather information about the incident, assess the risks, assemble resources, attempt to slow momentum and communicate and coordinate a response. In their interaction with subjects, officers should use advisements, warnings, verbal persuasion, and other tactics and alternatives to higher levels of force. Officers should recognize that they may withdraw to a position that is tactically more secure or allows them greater distance in order to consider or deploy a greater variety of Force Options. Officers shall perform their work in a manner that avoids unduly jeopardizing their own safety or the safety of others through poor tactical decisions.
As a good practice, supervisors will acknowledge and respond to incidents in a timely manner where law enforcement use of force is probable. Supervisors should possess a good knowledge of tactics and ensure that officers under their supervision perform to a standard.
Authorized Force Tools, Description, Requirements, Uses and Considerations
Level of Control – Low-Level Force
Officers will, when and to the extent reasonably possible, attempt to use verbal communication skills to control subjects before resorting to physical control methods.
The Department is the first department in the area to deploy body cameras to all patrol officers, and has been using dash cameras on patrol cars since 2000.
Pasco Police Patrol Policy
41.3.8 AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING EQUIPMENT
Body Worn Camera
It is the policy of the Pasco Police Department that officers shall activate the BWC when such use is appropriate to the proper performance of his or her official duties, where the recordings are consistent with this policy and law. This policy does not govern the use of surreptitious recording devices used in undercover operations.
The Pasco Police Use of Force Procedure directs officers to use advisements in an effort to de-escalate a situation.
Use of Force Model
D. Levels of Control (see Use of Force Model)
3. Deadly Force
Parameters for Use of Deadly Force
An officer may use deadly force upon another person only when it is objectively reasonable to:
Use of Force Procedure
Presence and verbal communication
Pasco Police Officers have a duty to intervene when they observe another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances. They must also report to a supervisor.
Pasco Police Use of Force Procedure
Duty to intervene
Any officer present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances shall, when in a position to do so, safely intercede to prevent the use of such excessive force. Officers shall promptly report these observations to a supervisor.
Pasco Police Officers are not authorized to discharge a firearm either at or from a moving vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary to protect against the imminent threat of life of the officer or others.
Use of Force with a firearm
2. Officers are not authorized to discharge their firearm:
c. Either at or from a moving vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary to do so to protect against imminent threat to the life of the officer or others.
1) a person in the vehicle is threatening the officer or another person with deadly force by means other than the vehicle
2) the vehicle is operated in a manner deliberately intended to strike an officer or another person, and all other reasonable means of defense have been considered (or are not present or practical), which includes moving out of the path of the vehicle.
The Pasco Police Department employs a Use of Force Model. In use of force incidents, the officer will transition to differing degrees or types of force, including attempts to de-escalate.
Use of Force Policy
Each bold force option within the levels of control represents the highest level of force option available; however, other force options should be considered to help de-escalate the situation.
This graphic is intended as a general guideline for an officer. The subject(s) actions will dictate the Resistance Level and officers will make an “objectively reasonable” force option.
In use of force incidents, the officer will transition to differing degrees or types of force, including attempts to de-escalate. Force situations are dynamic and require an officer to continually assess the subject’s actions to ensure an objectively reasonable response. Officers shall modify their Level of Control in relation to the amount of resistance offered by a subject.
Upon the use of moderate to higher levels of use of force, a Pasco Police Officer is required to complete a Use of Force Report.
Pasco Police Officers do not use a firearm to gain compliance of a subject or for intimidation. Officers are not allowed to draw or display their firearm unless the circumstances create reasonable belief that is may be necessary to use the firearm in the performance of their duty.
Pasco Police Use of Force Policy
4.2.1 REPORTING WEAPON DISCHARGE AND USES OF FORCE
B. Use of Force Reporting
Employees are sometimes required to use force to make arrests and control situations. The use of force model outlines the progression of force options. Reportable force incidents which require the completion of a Use of Force Report, but are not limited to:
1. Control Tactics/ Impact Tactics (Takedown with injury, Strikes, Kicks)
2. Baton/Impact Weapons (Jabs, Strikes)
3. OC Spray
4. CEW (touch stun and probe deployment)
5. VNR (Level 2 and 3)
6. Canine (With bites)
7. Use of Force with a vehicle:
8. Use of Force with a Firearm
Supervisors will respond without necessary delay to all potential reportable uses of force.
When the use of force results in serious injury or death, investigators (Special Investigative Unit) and internal affairs will conduct an investigation. In these situations, officers are granted time, at the discretion of the Field Operations Captain, to contact legal counsel before completing a report or making a formal statement.
Pasco Police Procedure Manual
Officers are not authorized to draw or display their firearms, except for training at an approved firearms range, unless the circumstances create reasonable belief that it may be necessary to use the firearm in the performance of their duty.
Chokeholds and Strangleholds are not allowed by the policy or procedures of the Pasco Police department. No physical maneuver that restricts an individual’s ability to breath for the purpose of incapacitation is allowed unless lethal force is authorized.
Pasco Police Officers have been trained in the use of the Vascular Neck Restraint procedure.
Pasco Police Use of Force ProcedureUse of Force Policy
Vascular Neck Restraint (VNR) - VNR is a specific method of applying pressure to the side of a subject’s neck to overcome resistance and allow safe control. This technique is used only in accordance with official departmental training and policy.
F. Vascular Neck Restraint
There are three levels to applying the VNR. Level One begins with Low-Level Force and may progress to the Intermediate based on the subject’s actions.
Level of Control:
Low-Level Force -- VNR Level One (minimum restraint)
Intermediate Force -- VNR Level Two (medium restraint)
VNR Level Three (maximum restraint)
The VNR is a control technique in which the carotid arteries on the sides of the neck are compressed, limiting blood flow to the brain, causing the subject to momentarily pass out.
No officer will use the VNR without first completing the certification course provided in the police academy or by PPD instructors.
Pasco Police Officers have a duty to render aid upon a subject after a use of force upon that person. PPD Officers are trained in first aid/CPR, AED, carry tourniquets, and Narcan.
Whenever an officer applies a Use of Force option upon a subject that results in a visible injury or complaint of injury, an officer will monitor the subject and summon aid or transport for medical attention. Once the scene is safe, officers will render first aid to subjects who have been seriously injured as a result of police actions.
The Pasco Police Department is fully committed to implementing the requirements of Washington State Initiative 940, including having civilian community members as part of an independent team investigating deadly use of force incidents. The PPD continues to participate in the Regional Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to provide outside and independent investigations for deadly force investigations. No Pasco Police investigators will be used to investigate a Pasco incident.
Reportable Use of Force
It is the policy of this department to conduct a fair, impartial and thorough investigation of all uses of deadly force for the interest of the officer, the department and the community alike. The following procedures shall apply to all deadly force investigations:
A. Primary Responsibilities in a Deadly Force Investigation