Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services

DISTRICT POLICIES

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TITLE: Fugitive Unit Use Of Force

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services Fugitive Unit with guidelines on the use of lethal and less than lethal force. To ensure the safety of members of the Fugitive Unit, as well as staff and offenders of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.

POLICY

The Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services recognizes and respects the value and special integrity of each human life. In vesting officers with the lawful authority to use force to protect the public welfare, a careful balancing of all human interests is required. Therefore, it is the policy of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services that officers shall use only the force necessary to accomplish lawful objectives. The officer should always use discretion and if possible consider withdrawing from the situation and securing assistance. Assistance can be sought from other members of the Fugitive Unit as well as local law enforcement agencies.

DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this policy, the word "officer" shall encompass the deputies assigned to the fugitive unit.

  1. Lethal force:
    1. Any use of force that is likely to cause death or serious injury.
  2. Less than lethal force:
    1. Any use of force other than that which is considered lethal force.
  3. Serious Injury:
    1. Any use of force which causes bodily injury that can create a substantial risk of death, causes serious permanent disfigurement, or causes loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
  4. Reasonable Force: Code of Iowa, Chapter 704.1
    1. "That force and no more which a reasonable person, in like circumstances, would judge to be necessary to prevent an injury or loss and can include deadly force if it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one's life or safety or the life of safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to resist a like force or threat. Reasonable force, including deadly force, may be used even if an alternative course of action is available if the alternative entails a risk to life or safety, or the life or safety of a third party, or requires one to abandon or retreat from one's dwelling or place of business or employment."
  5. Resistance:
    1. Resistance is defined as the force used by a subject under arrest against the officer who is effecting the arrest. The officer's response to resistance will be based upon the officer's perception of the level of resistance.

USE OF FORCE CONTINUUM

  1. Force that an officer uses to gain control over a subject's resistant actions is divided into the following categories:
    1. Officer's presence;
    2. Verbal control;
    3. Empty hand control;
    4. Chemical deterrent
    5. Intermediate impact weapons;
    6. Lethal force.
  2. Variables that affect the use of force continuum:
    1. Size (officer/subject);
    2. Gender (officer/subject);
    3. Age;
    4. Reaction time;
    5. Danger (citizens/officer);
    6. Environment;
    7. Weather conditions; and
    8. Totality of circumstance.

POTENTIAL LEVELS OF RESISTANCE

  1. Psychological intimidation:
    1. Stare down;
    2. Manner of dress (gang related, etc.);
    3. Tattoos (gang related, etc.);
    4. Attitude (negative);
    5. Body language (mouth says yes, body says no).
  2. Verbal non compliance:
    1. Threats;
    2. Verbal unwillingness;
    3. Passive resistance:
      1. Non violent demonstration;
      2. No movement.
  3. Defensive resistance:
    1. Pulling away;
    2. Prevents control, but does not attack.
  4. Active aggression:
    1. Striking;
    2. Kicking;
    3. Biting;
    4. Scratching.
  5. Aggravated active aggression:
    1. Is aggression of such a degree or kind (whether because of the size of the subject or the fury of the subject's resistance or some other factor) that threatens to cause the officer or other serious injury?
  6. Lethal force:
    1. The subject resists in such a way that the life of the officer or others is in immediate jeopardy.
    2. Once an officer determines that he/she must use physical force, the level of force used will be dependent upon the officer's perception of resistance and danger of that resistance, and whether that resistance is placing the officer or another in jeopardy of serious injury or death. It is important to note that each officer's perception of the danger of the level of resistance will be based upon his/her training, experience, knowledge of physical control techniques, and the totality of the circumstances then and there existing.

PROCEDURE

  1. Parameters for the use of lethal force:
    1. Members of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services Fugitive Unit are authorized to use lethal force in order to:
      1. Protect the officer or others from what is reasonably believed to be an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm; or
      2. Prevent the escape of a fleeing felon whom the officer has probable cause to believe will pose a significant threat to human life should the escape occur.
    2. Before using a firearm, members of the Fugitive Unit, shall identify themselves and state their intent to shoot, where feasible.
    3. Members of the Fugitive Unit shall adhere to the following restrictions when their weapon is exhibited:
      1. Except for maintenance or during training, officers shall not draw or exhibit their firearms unless circumstances create reasonable cause to believe that it may be necessary to use the weapon in conformance with this policy.
      2. Warning shots are prohibited!
      3. Members of the Fugitive Unit shall not fire their weapons at or from a moving vehicle. Exceptions:
        1. The occupant of the other vehicle is using, or threatening to use, lethal force by means other than the vehicle, or
        2. A vehicle is operated in a manner deliberately intended to strike an officer or citizen; all other reasonable means of defense have been exhausted, which includes moving out of the path of the vehicle; and the safety of innocent persons would not be unduly jeopardized by the officer's actions.
        3. Firearms shall not be discharged when it appears likely that an innocent person may be injured.
    4. Use of lethal force other than firearms:
      1. 1) Lethal force may consist of the use of items, articles, instruments, or equipment other than firearms.
      2. Deliberate use of any such item, article, instrument, or equipment for any purpose other than that for which it was designed and intended, or in a potentially lethal manner, i.e. as a club, is prohibited except in cases where the use of lethal force is specifically authorized by this policy.
  2. Parameters for use of less than lethal force:
    1. Where lethal force is not authorized, officers should assess the incident in order to determine which less than lethal technique or weapon will best de escalate the incident and bring it under control in a safe manner.
    2. Members of the Fugitive Unit are authorized to use Fifth Judicial District approved less than lethal force techniques and issued equipment for resolution of incidents, as follows:
      1. To protect themselves or another from physical harm;
      2. To restrain or subdue a resistant individual; or
      3. To bring an unlawful situation safely and effectively under control.
  3. Training and qualifications:
    1. Lethal weapons:
      1. While on duty, officers shall carry only weapons and ammunition authorized by the Director of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services and registered with the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.
      2. Authorized weapons are those with which the officer has qualified and received training on proper and safe usage, and that are registered and comply with the specifications set by the Director of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.
      3. The supervisor for the Fugitive Unit shall schedule regular training and qualification sessions for officers with duty weapons, which will be graded on a pass/fail basis.
      4. Officers who fail to receive a passing score with their duty weapon(s) in accordance with the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services Fugitive Unit testing procedures shall be relieved of their law enforcement powers and immediately reassigned to non-enforcement duties.
      5. Officers shall not be permitted to carry any weapon with which he/she has not been able to qualify during the most recent qualification sessions.
      6. An officer who has taken extended leave or suffered an illness or injury that could affect his/her ability to use firearms, will be required to re-qualify and receive clearance from the Director of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services before returning to law enforcement duties.
    2. Less than lethal force weapons and methods:
      1. Members of the Fugitive Unit are not permitted to use a less than lethal weapon unless qualified in its proficient use as determined by training procedures.
      2. The following less than lethal weapons are authorized:
        1. Chemical mace [in accordance with the Oiedresin Capsicum (Pepper Spray) policy]
        2. Impact weapons (i.e.: ASP tactical baton) in accordance with the impact weapons policy.
  4. Reporting uses of force:
    1. A written report shall be prepared when an officer:
      1. Discharges or points a firearm at another person, for other than training or recreational purposes;
      2. Takes an action that results in, or is alleged to have resulted in, injury to or death of another person;
      3. Applies force through the use of lethal or less than lethal weapons; or
      4. Uses physical force to direct or redirect the movements of an individual; or applies any use of force as defined by Iowa Code.
    2. A supervisor shall be immediately notified in the following situations:
      1. When a firearm is discharged outside of the firing range;
      2. When a use of force results in death or injury; or
      3. When a subject complains that injury has been inflicted and requires medical attention.
  5. Use of force reports:
    1. A Use of Force Report shall be filed and submitted to the Supervisor of the Fugitive Unit whenever an officer takes an action that results in (or is alleged to have resulted in) injury to or death of another person; and/or applies force through the use of non-lethal weapons. The report shall be filed by all officers involved in or witnessing the incident. This report shall contain:
      1. Subject information;
      2. Case number and/or ICON number;
      3. Date and time;
      4. Reporting officer;
      5. Subject's injuries and medical treatment;
      6. Description of actual resistance encountered by the officer; and
      7. Force used to overcome the resistance and specific weapon used.
    2. Other considerations when writing a report:
      1. Officer Arrival:
        1. Marked/unmarked unit
        2. Properly identified as Probation/Parole and or a law enforcement officer? Establish that suspect was dealing with police.
      2. Approach:
        1. Observations
        2. Perceptions
        3. Commands
        4. Take note of subjects' nonverbal cues: i.e.: attitude; appearance; physical readiness.
      3. Subject's Response:
        1. Verbal
        2. Physical Response
        3. Include all details.
      4. Officer's Response
        1. Verbal commands
        2. Control methods
        3. Handcuff procedures:
          1. 1 Check cuff for tightness
          2. 2 Double lock cuff
        4. De-escalation techniques.
      5. Transport:
        1. Subjects' demeanor
        2. Any further resistance
          1. 1 Verbal
          2. 2 Physical.
      6. Medical:
        1. Injuries to subject
        2. Injuries to officer
        3. Was photo taken and when?
        4. Medical release.
      7. Follow-up:
        1. Witness statements
        2. Assistant officer's statements
        3. Evidence.
    3. Points to remember:
      1. Keep the report simple.
      2. Write with the reader in mind.
      3. Your report is public record.
    4. Digital or color 35mm photographs will be taken of a subject any time physical force is used to control a subject. Color photographs will be taken even if there is no visible injury. The photograph(s) will contain the following information:
      1. The assigned case number and/or ICON number;
      2. The subject's name;
      3. Date and time of the photograph;
      4. Location of where the photograph was taken; and
      5. Name of the person taking the photograph.
    5. Photographs will be taken of all officers injured in a use force incident.
    6. Use of Force Reports will be turned in prior to the end of the officer's work shift unless other arrangements were made with the Fugitive Unit's Supervisor. The Use of Force Reports will be forwarded to the Supervisor of the Fugitive Unit. No copies will be made!
  6. Injuries resulting from use of force:
    1. The officer shall render appropriate medical aid after the use of force, to include but not limited to:
      1. Bleeding control;
      2. Shock control;
      3. Rescue breathing;
      4. CPR;
      5. Transporting any person that is injured by an officer's use of force to Broadlawns Medical Center for treatment as soon as reasonably possible; or
      6. In life threatening situations, summon emergency medical personnel to the scene (e.g. fire department rescue personnel, advanced life support paramedics, air ambulance).
    2. Anytime an officer’s use of force results in serious injury or death, the Supervisor of the Fugitive Unit will notify the Director of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services and the Assistant Director for Field Services of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services. The Director will notify the following:
      1. Sheriff
      2. Chief of police
      3. County Attorney
      4. Attorney General
      5. Regional Deputy Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections
  7. Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services response:
    1. Lethal force incident:
      1. Where an officer's actions or use of force causes death or serious injury, the officer shall be placed on administrative leave after completing all internal investigative requirements, until it is determined by a mental health professional that the officer is ready to return to duty.
      2. The Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services shall conduct an administrative investigation and request assistance with a criminal investigation of the incident from the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred. This decision will be made by the Director of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services or his/her designee.
    2. Administrative review of critical incidents:
      1. All reported uses of force will be reviewed by the appropriate Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services authority to determine whether:
        1. Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services rules, policy, or procedures were violated;
        2. The relevant policy was clearly understandable and effective to cover the situation; and
        3. Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services training is currently adequate.
      2. All findings of policy violations or training inadequacies shall be reported to the Director of the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services for disciplinary recommendation and/or resolution.
      3. All Use of Force Reports shall be retained as required by law.
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