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IMPD releases new ‘use of force’ policies

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – On Wednesday, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department announced new “use of force” policies.

The department’s new “use of force” policies is as follows:

  • Outline clearly defined de-escalation requirements: The new policy explicitly outlines the use of de-escalation tactics such as communication, time, and distance and requires that officers attempt to de-escalate situations with the goal of resolving encounters without the use of force whenever feasible. IMPD training has included de-escalation techniques for some time, but the department’s commitment to de-escalation is now made explicit in the use of force policy itself.
  • Create a clear standard for use of deadly force: IMPD has adopted the standard for deadly force outlined by California Assembly Bill 392, which provides greater clarification and limitations on when deadly force may be used.
  • Prohibit the use of chokeholds: While IMPD training does not consider chokeholds an appropriate technique, the approved Use of Force policy explicitly prohibits this tactic or any similar neck restraint.
  • Require the use of proportionate force: Officers must use only the minimum amount of force appropriate, based on the circumstances known to the officer, to achieve the officer’s legitimate public safety objectives.
  • Define an officer’s duty to intervene and report when inappropriate force is used: Officers now have an explicit duty to prevent or stop the use of excessive force by another officer and report any violation of the Use of Force policy to a supervisor. This was not previously outlined in IMPD’s Use of Force policy.
  • Clearly specify rules for using less-lethal force: The new use of force standards are outlined in two policies – one that governs the use of specific types of less-lethal devices, and one that covers IMPD’s general use of force principles. The rules for deployment of less-lethal levels of force are consistent with continuum of force and proportionality principles.
  • Prohibit shooting into, or from, moving vehicles.
  • Direct the department to review these policies for compliance with national best practices at least annually.

Additionally, IMPD says that any kind of force that is used will be reported and investigated according to the department’s existing policy. In the future and once the Use of Force Review Board is established, any force used by an IMPD officer will reviewed by the board.

The department says that a training curriculum, implementing the new use of force policies, is being developed. All officers will be trained with these new policies in mind, with some officers to begin training as soon as August.

IMPD’s new use of force policies comes after the department recently announced they were no longer using no-knock warrants.