The Baltimore City Police Department has revamped its use of force policy with an eye towards “sanctity of life”, officer safety, and overall departmental effectiveness.
As reported on WBAL:
The new policy takes effect July 1, replacing the old rules, which hadn’t been changed since September 2003.
“The process was a meticulous look, and it took several months to craft,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
“These changes will simply make us better,” Davis said.
The new policy includes new terminology and clear definitions. It requires officers to intercede and notify a supervisor if they see a fellow officer using excessive force. It also requires officers to provide medical assistance.
But the big stand-out, officials said, is an emphasis on de-escalation.
“There’s really a focus on de-escalating where possible, and also, when force is necessary, that the force be proportional,” said Jason Johnson, the Police Department’s director of strategic development.