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APD Officers Trained on New Use of Force Policy

Trainings will mark completion of a key component of DOJ Settlement Agreement.

November 7, 2019

APD officers are being trained on the new streamlined use-of-force policy created along with stakeholders to bring trust and effectiveness to the community. The new policy and training reflect the culture change at APD since Mayor Tim Keller committed to resolving the problems identified in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“The old policies didn’t work for anyone – officers in the field, supervisors doing reviews, or the community,” Mayor Keller said. “These new policies are foundational for our police department to effectively fight crime from all sides and continue to institutionalize Constitutional community policing.”

Officers received the first round of training, or Tier 1, earlier this year. They are now going through Tier 2, which teaches officers how to apply the new use of force policy.

“We are using more interactive training, where rather than sitting through a series of lectures, officers work with each other to learn how to apply the policy,” APD Chief Mike Geier said. “Officers review cases and have group discussions about how the policy is applied on the street.”

The new use of force policy is different because it was written for both the community and the police to understand.  It has clear direction and encourages the officer to use de-escalation techniques when feasible to reduce or eliminate the need to use force.

“We are not telling officers to avoid using force. We are telling them to do what they can to reduce or eliminate the need to use force,” said Commander Rob Middleton, who oversees APD’s Force Division. “We also learned lessons from reviewing a backlog of use of force cases, and incorporated those lessons into this training.”

All officers should complete Tier 2 training by the end of the year. Supervisors will move on to Tier 3 training, and all other officers will start Tier 4 training, which includes reality-based training scenarios and subject control.