Police Policy Information and Solidarity Statement

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In the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, the City has received numerous letters and calls demanding the adoption of specific policies and actions outlined in nationwide petitions like 8 Can't Wait.

For many years, the City of Claremont has had policies on use of force and racial profiling. The City also has a process for reviewing internal and citizen's complaints against police personnel. The review process has resulted in termination of officers in violation of the City's policies.The Police Department also requires ongoing training for officers on a variety of topics including mental health awareness, Bias Based Policing (racial profiling) and de-escalation techniques.

The City has compiled a summary of the City's policies related to use of force, obligation to report, and complaint review process below. The City is also including information on the Police Department's community policing model and budget.

SOLIDARITY STATEMENT

Community Policing

The City of Claremont uses a community policing model that engages citizens with police personnel. The Claremont Police Department interacts with the community through community events,station open houses, movies in the park, business workshops, neighborhood meetings, and an annual National Night Out event. Each event is an opportunity for the community to meet and get to know the officers that serve them. Additionally, the Police Department offers a Citizens Academy that takes citizens through aspects of policing.

The Claremont Police Department regularly works with the Claremont School District to introduce students to officers in a variety of settings. Officer Jennifer Ganino, the School Resource Officer, works with students at all grade levels.Positive interaction between students and officers early and often is a step in building relationships and trust that can last lifetime.

Additionally the City has a seven member citizen Police Commission to advise and review matters related to the Police Department. The Police Commission meetings are open to the public are typically held quarterly, but will be held monthly beginning July 9.

Commissions

Citizens Academy

Community Programs

Police Budget

Over the past three years, the City has had to cut funding to all departments including the Police Department. For the fiscal year beginning in July 2020, the Police Department has eliminated a police officer position.  The Police Department will be introducing  a non-sworn Community Service Officer that will take care of administrative and community issues that do not require a sworn officer.The Police Department budget covers the operation of the department which includes many areas including patrol, detectives, parking enforcement, jail, community crime prevention programs, crossing guards, emergency management, dispatch and records.

 

Policies related to Use of Force and Reporting

The Claremont Police Department has a large training manual of policies and procedures. Below are excerpts from the Department's policy manual that apply to use of force, reporting, and conduct review.

Department Training and Policies

114  UNBIASED POLICING POLICY

 114.1  Purpose

To reaffirm the Claremont Police Department’s commitment to unbiased policing, to clarify the circumstances in which officers can consider race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, socio-economic status and disability when making law enforcement decisions, and to reinforce procedures that serve to assure the public that we are providing service and enforcing laws in an equitable way.

 114.2  Definition

 Profiling:   Any police-initiated action that relies solely on the race, ethnicity or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, socio-economic status, or disability, rather than the behavior of an individual or information that leads the police to a particular individual who has been identified as being or having been engaged in criminal activity.

114.3  Policy

 It is the policy of the Claremont Police Department that all police-initiated actions, which includes all investigative detentions, traffic stops, arrests, searches and seizures of persons and/or property by officers, shall be based on a standard of reasonable suspicion or probable cause as required by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and statutory authority, as well as equal protection of laws required by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Officers must be able to articulate specific facts, circumstances and conclusions, which support probable cause or reasonable suspicion for the arrest, investigative detention, search, or traffic stop.  Except as provided below, officers shall not solely consider race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation in establishing either reasonable suspicion or probable cause, or as a basis for requesting consent to search.

Except as provided below, officers shall not solely consider race or ethnicity in establishing either reasonable suspicion or probable cause.  Similarly, except as provided below, officers shall not consider race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, socio-economic status and disability in deciding to initiate either consensual encounters or nonconsensual encounters.

 Officers may take into account the reported race, age, gender, ethnicity or national origin of a specific suspect or suspects in the same way they would use specific information regarding age, height, weight, etc., about specific suspects.

 114.4  Unbiased Policing- Procedure

 114.4.1  Officer Responsibility

 Sworn personnel are prohibited from solely using  race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, or disability of a person as the sole reason for stopping a vehicle, issuing a citation, making an arrest, conducting a field interview, detaining for investigative purposes, seizing assets, seeking asset forfeiture, or conducting a search. All investigatory detentions, traffic stops, arrests, searches and seizures shall be based upon the standard of reasonable suspicion or probable cause as required by the Fourth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution and state statutes.

 Sworn personnel shall treat all citizens with courtesy and respect when making contact. Officers are forbidden from using language or displaying symbols and gestures that are commonly viewed as offensive to, or are indicative of bias towards any group.

 All persons stopped by an officer shall be provided with an explanation for why they were stopped, unless disclosure of such information would undermine an investigation or jeopardize the officer’s safety. Motorists are entitled to a verbal explanation or written documentation of the stop (e.g. citation or a verbal warning). Providing citizens with an explanation for why they were stopped fosters better relations with the community and reduces the perception of bias on the part of the police. Nothing in this section shall limit an officer’s ability to interview witnesses or discourage routine conversations with citizens not suspected of an offense.

 114.4.2  Supervision and Accountability

Supervisors shall ensure that all personnel in their command are familiar with the content of this policy and are operating in compliance with it. This supervisory responsibility includes monitoring employee compliance with the expectations, determining if noncompliance is intentional or because of a lack of training and initiating the appropriate corrective or disciplinary action, if noncompliance is for a reason other than lack of training.

 114.4.3  Training

 All sworn members of this department will be scheduled to attend POST-approved training on the subject of “bias based policing” (racial profiling).

 The Administrative Services Bureau shall coordinate additional training with all personnel on subjects that include, but are not limited to, profiling, cultural diversity, interaction with citizens, policy, and ethics.  Training may be conducted through in-service, special courses, or shift briefing training.  Participation in training shall be documented and recorded in each members training record.

 400.3.1  Determining Objectively Reasonable Force

While various degrees of force exist, each officer is expected to use only that degree of force that is objectively reasonable to perform their duties in accordance with this policy.  A verbal warning should precede the use of deadly or non-deadly force where feasible.

Officers will use a level of force within the range of “objectively reasonable” options.  Officers will access each incident to determine, based on policy, training, and experience which use of force option is appropriate to control or restrain another, or to overcome the resistance of another.

400.4  Duty to Intervene and Report

Any employee present and observing another employee using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances, shall, as soon as safely possible,  intercede to prevent the use of such excessive force.

Employees shall immediately report these observations to a supervisor.

400.5  Supervisor Responsibility

A supervisor having been notified of an alleged use of excessive force, shall assess the incident and determine the personnel involved and examine the use of force applied.  If it is determined that a member of the Department may have used excessive force the supervisor shall initiate an administrative investigation.  If the allegation involves a member of another police agency, the supervisor shall notify the Watch Commander who in turn shall contact the on-duty Watch Commander of the respective agency.  A notification shall be made to the Operations Division Captain as soon as practical.

402.2 Reporting Guidelines/Duties: Involved Officers and Employees 

The involved officer/employee shall make verbal notification to the on-duty supervisor as soon as practical following the application of force under any of the following circumstances:

  • If an officer is involved in any incident in which he/she draws a firearm to effect compliance from any person

402     USE OF FORCE REPORTING

 
402.1  Purpose and Scope

This Use of Force Reporting section is adopted to provide the procedures and

guidelines for proper reporting of instances where force is used.

 402.2 Reporting Guidelines/Duties: Involved Officers and Employees

An involved officer and/or employee shall accurately report their actions in an Arrest/Crime Report, Supplemental Report, or a Welfare & Institutions Code section 5150 Report when: 

  • If an officer is involved in any incident in which he/she draws a firearm to effect compliance from any person
  • Where the application of force appears to have caused physical injury
  • The individual has expressed a complaint of pain or injury from the use of force

  • The individual has complained of or alleged misconduct in the use of force

  • Any application of a non-deadly control device, or

  • Where the individual has been rendered unconscious.

  • Non-deadly force is used;

  • An officer/employee is involved in any incident in which an injury or complaint of injury or loss of consciousness occurs as a result of effecting an arrest or effecting physical control of a subject.
  • In deadly force incidents, where officers and employees are interviewed during the investigation, written reports may not be required.

If an Arrest/Crime Report, Supplemental Report, or Welfare & Institutions Code section 5150 Report, is inapplicable based upon the circumstances, the officer shall prepare a memorandum outlining the use of force and forward it to the Operations Division Captain via the chain of command. 

  • The involved officer/employee shall make verbal notification to the on-duty supervisor as soon as practical following the application of force under any of the following circumstances:

402.3  Reporting Guidelines/Duties: Supervisor

Following notification, the Field Supervisor shall assess any incident involving the circumstances listed in section 402.2. Once the incident is under control, the Field Supervisor, when possible, shall ensure that evidence of injury or damage is obtained or collected (including photos or videotape when appropriate), and that witness information is obtained.

The Field Supervisor or Watch Commander shall notify the Operations Division Captain as soon as practical following any use of force where there is a complaint of pain, injury, or when deadly force is used.

In addition, the Field Supervisor shall review the reports created as a result of the incident to ensure it includes the following information:

  • Summary of events
  • Personnel involved
  • Citizen(s) involved
  • Witnesses
  • Investigation – Describe circumstances of incident, type of force and how utilized (i.e., number of applications and location on the body), why the force was appropriate; any injuries sustained and/or complained of, officer and witness statements, medical treatment, etc.
  • Evidence – Obtain photographs of any complained of or observable injuries to all parties, including officers, as well as the location of the incident. A listing of all relevant evidence should also be listed in the Arrest/Crime Report or Welfare & Institutions Code section 5150 Report

The Watch Commander shall prepare a written memorandum entitled “Use of Force Incident” to the Operations Division Captain.  The memorandum shall document the following: 

  • That a Use of Force occurred
  • The related report number
  • The type of force used
  • Any injuries to the suspect(s) or complaints of injuries
  • Medical treatment rendered to the suspect(s)
  • List of the video and/or audio evidence available 

402.4 Reporting Guidelines/duties: Operations Division Captain

The Operations Division Captain shall review the immediate supervisor’s report and other related reports and may request that involved employee(s) provide additional oral or written reports.

The Operations Division Captain shall convene the Use of Force Review Board as soon as is practicable to review the Use of Force Incident

The Operations Division Captain will review the report from the Use of Force Review Board and submit a written memorandum to the Chief of Police documenting their findings.

402.5 Reporting Guidelines/Duties: Chief of Police

The Chief is responsible for final review of all incidents, including incidents where the Operations Division Captain, Detective Bureau Lieutenant, or Use of Force Review Board has not found a violation of Department policy.  The Chief may assign appropriate discipline to involved employee(s) if an incident so warrants as specified in Policy 325 (Cause for Disciplinary Action).

 

 403 USE OF FORCE REVIEW BOARD

403.1 Purpose:

The Use of Force Review Board is appointed by the Chief of Police or Operations Division Captain as soon as practicable after a Use of Force incident to review the use of force by employees.  The Review Board will objectively evaluate use of force incidents by employees to ensure their authority is used lawfully, appropriately, and is consistent with applicable Department policies.

The Use of Force Review Board shall limit its findings to whether the actions of the involved employees were within Department policies.  The Use of Force Review Board will not make inquiries or recommendations regarding an employee’s fitness for duty, corrective action or physical/psychological evaluation.  This process may be in addition to any other review or investigation that may be conducted by any outside or other agency having jurisdiction over the investigation or evaluation of the use of force.

403.2 Assignment to Board

The Chief or Operations Division Captain may select up to five members of the Department at a rank equal to or higher than the employee(s) involved in the incident to comprise the Review Board.  The Chief or Operations Division Captain may take into consideration the nature of the incident being reviewed in selecting the members of the Review Board. 

The Review Board shall normally include: A Captain, Lieutenant, or Sergeant designated as chairperson.  The chairperson will be the highest or senior ranking member.  The duties and responsibilities shall include:

  • Conducting and order of hearings.
  • Determining time and place of hearings.
  • Notifying all personnel who are involved with the incident under review and members of the Review Board.

Based on the circumstances of the use of force, the Chief of Police or Operations Division Captain can consider including additional members to the Review Board considering: number, rank, expertise, and experience with reference to the matter being reviewed.  These members could be an employee of equal rank, investigators, employee involved in the investigation, or an officer from another agency or a desired combination of the above.

403.3 Investigation

The Use of Force Review Board will be provided the criminal reports, the internal investigator’s report, available video and audio, TASER data (if applicable), and other supplemental reports pertaining to the incident as requested.

The Use of Force Review Board may require the involved employee(s) to make a formal report to, or testify before, the Review Board under the following conditions:

  • The involved employees’ formal reports will be limited to information relevant to whether the employee’s actions were within Department policy.
  • If the involved employee(s) refuses to make a report or testify voluntarily, the Use of Force Review Board may compel them to do so.  The Lybarger Warning shall be issued by the Use of Force Review Board Chair prior to compelling the involved employee(s) to report or testify.
  • Involved employees may select a Department employee of their choice or any other representative of their choice, who is not involved in the investigation, to be present during the Use of Force Review Board interview.  The selected Department employee shall not interfere with any portion of the investigation.

403.4 Review Board Findings

The Use of Force Review Board will complete its formal report within 30 days of assignment of the Review Board and will forward the results to the Operations Division Captain.  The report shall include: names of members of the Review Board, type of documentation and evidence reviewed, related policies considered, justification for findings, and training recommendation if any.

Within 10 work days of receiving the completed report, the Operations Division Captain will review the report and findings and determine disciplinary actions, if any.

As soon as practical after the Operations Division Captain determines disciplinary actions, if any, the Operations Division Captain shall notify the concerned employee(s) of the findings and disciplinary action, if any.

403.5 Notification of Findings

 The Operations Division Captain shall keep the Chief of Police apprised of all proposed disciplinary actions.  The completed report shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police.

The Department has established a policy for the critical review of the use of force.  Once a use of force has been investigated internally and the Chief of Police has concurred with the finding(s), the Operations Division Captain will, at the first available command staff meeting, review the findings of the incident with command staff.  The purpose of this presentation is to ensure the consistent application of the use of force policy and to identify training needs to reinforce that consistent application.

355.9  Personnel Complaints – Recommendations of Discipline

As soon as is practical after completion, the investigator will turn the investigation over to the Operations Division Captain and Detective Bureau Lieutenant for review and disciplinary actions, if any.

Within 10 work days of receiving the completed investigation, the Operations Division Captain and Detective Bureau Lieutenant will review it and determine findings and proposed disciplinary actions, if any.

The applicable Operations Division Captain shall keep the Chief of Police apprised of all proposed disciplinary actions.  The completed report shall be forwarded to the Chief of Police.

All complaints initiated by a non-internal source shall then be reviewed by the Police Review Ad-Hoc Committee (PRAH).  The PRAH is comprised of a minimum of two (2) and maximum of three (3) Police Commissioners selected on a rotating basis.  The PRAH is advisory to the Chief of Police on the thoroughness of the investigation.

As soon as practical after PRAH review, the Operations Division Captain or Support Services Division Supervisor, whomever is responsible for the bureau of the involved employee(s), shall notify the concerned employees of the investigation findings and disciplinary action, if any.