New questions in APD use of force form

Updated: 06/01/2014 10:33 PM | Created: 06/01/2014 9:49 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Tasers, flash bangs, batons and K-9 units all fall under the umbrella of non-lethal force.

A recent Department of Justice investigation slammed the Albuquerque Police Department for not holding officers accountable for using this kind of force.

The Albuquerque Police Department says accountability will start with a seven-page form.

Now, if officers get physical, a form has to be filled out by their sergeant.

According to a new APD statement, "The new use of force form will require a more in-depth and thorough review of each use of force by officers."

APD says they were working on this form before the Department of Justice came out with their investigation findings. The DOJ investigation pointed out APD did not properly document use of force.

In the DOJ report, there are six examples of force used against people who posed little threat. One example includes an officer tasing a 16-year-old until the battery died.

APD states: "The form allows supervisors to identify training and disciplinary issues." According to the DOJ, the use of force form was only two pages.

The form has detailed questions, asking for evidence, what kind of force was used, where was the person injured, and what de-escalation tactics, if any, were used.

APD Spokeswoman Janet Blair says the documents will soon be backed up online and available through the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA)

APOA President, Stephanie Lopez released a statement regarding the new forms:

“We the Albuquerque police officers Association support the changes made to the use of force policy. The language placed in it explains situations officers find themselves in that were left vague in the previous policies language. We would hope that when officers are disciplined it is administered fairly and Consistent to the policy that is written. The commanders being allowed to Determine the final discipline for officers in their area command is also a plus. It alleviates the responsibilities placed on the deputy chiefs, and is more beneficial towards the officer since it is his/ her immediate chain of command that knows that officer and their work ethic. We hope that additional paperwork from 2 pages to 7 pages does not burden the already short staffed Supervisors and officers that are our first responders.”

View: Use of Force Data Report

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