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 police@bendoregon.gov

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Our policies are based on current case law and best practices.  We are constantly evaluating legal decisions, to make sure the standards we are using, are the best available.  Laws and policies vary by state and by agency, so this response is specific to our agency in conjunction with current policy, Oregon case law, and US case law. 

Bend Police Department Policy 300 – Force Response – last updated 4/19/2018

   1.   Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds

We do not train in the use of chokeholds or strangleholds.  This type of restraint is considered a deadly force response. We do train the use of carotid restraint (also known as lateral vascular neck restraint.)  This type of restraint has been used by our officers once in the past five years. When any physical force response is applied to effect an arrest or protect a life, immediate medical attention for the suspect is required by policy.

Deadly force is defined as “force that is likely to cause either serious bodily injury or death to another person."

   2.    Require De-escalation

Our uniformed staff (Police Officers and Community Service Officers) are trained in de-escalation, crisis communication, and other related principles with the overarching goal of reducing risk of injury or death to everyone involved.  We have trained on these topics for many years.  To date, approximately 75% of our uniformed staff have also completed a 40 hour Crisis Intervention Tactics (CIT) course.  More on that here: https://www.nami.org/Advocacy/Crisis-Intervention/Crisis-Intervention-Team-(CIT)-Programs

   3.   Require Warning Before Shooting

The Bend Police Department does not require a warning because officers may not have time to safely provide one prior to acting to protect themselves or others.

In short, our policy (BPD Policy 300.4 (b)) states: “Under such circumstances, a verbal warning should precede the use of deadly force, where feasible.” For more information please see SCOTUS decisions Graham v. Connor, Tennessee v. Garner and 9th Circuit Court Decision Deorle v. Rutherford.

  4.    Exhaust All Other Means Before Shooting

The use of deadly force is a last resort.  It requires an objective and reasonable belief that the officer’s life or the life of another is in actual or imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.  We do not require all other means be exhausted, as each situation is different and there may not be time for other options. Our policy is based on SCOTUS decisions Graham v. Connor, Tennessee v. Garner and other courts rulings such as 9th Circuit Court decision Scott v. Henrich. For more information, please also see: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/161.235 and https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/161.239

  5.    Duty to intervene

Our policy (BPD Policy 300.2.1) is as follows: “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, intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force. An officer who observes another employee use force that exceeds the degree of force permitted by law should promptly report these observations to a supervisor.”

  6.    Ban shooting at Moving Vehicles

Shooting at moving vehicles occurs only in extreme cases that warrant the use of deadly force.  Deadly force is a last resort.  It requires an objective and reasonable belief that the officer’s life or the life of another is in actual or imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

What our policy says about shooting at or from a moving vehicle (BPD 300.4.1)

Shots fired at or from a moving vehicle are rarely effective. Officers should move out of the path of an approaching vehicle instead of discharging their firearm at the vehicle or any of its occupants. An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others.

Officers should not shoot at any part of a vehicle in an attempt to disable the vehicle.

   7.    Require use of force continuum

We train our officers to use objectively reasonable force in accordance with established case law such as Graham v. Connor and Tennessee v. Garner. Tools and tactics that are more likely to cause injury, serious injury or death are restricted in their use.

Use of Force Continuum’s are an older model of Force Response guidance and many agencies (ours included) have gone towards a Constitutional Standard or one based on Objectively Reasonable Force.

  8.    Require comprehensive reporting:

Our policy (BPD 300.5) is as follows: Any force response by a member of this department shall be documented promptly, completely and accurately in an appropriate report, depending on the nature of the incident. The officer should articulate the factors perceived and why he/she believed the use of force was reasonable under the circumstances.

To collect data for purposes of training, resource allocation, analysis and related purposes, the Department also requires the completion of additional report forms, as specified in department policy, procedure or law.

All force shall be documented on a Force Response report by the end of the officer's shift.

We also publish our Force Response Report on our website, and have for a number of years.

ORS that governs reporting of deadly force response: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/2013/181.789

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