Use of Force Reporting and Investigation

Make your voice heard, submit comment on SPD's proposed policy changes

Purpose of this policy

This policy outlines how to categorize uses of force and the process for investigating Type I, Type II, and Type III use of force incidents. 

Revisions proposed by SPD

  • The policy switches the term for "stop sticks" to "stationary tire deflation devices."
  • Pepper balls are added as a Type II use of force option. Use of pepper balls must be reported in the same manner as pepper spray discharges and impact weapons discharges. 
  • The policy adds minor joint dislocation and chipped, broken, or lost tooth as examples of potential outcome of a Type II use of force.
  • Adds requirement for Sergeants, along with the Force Investigation Team (FIT), to screen situations that include joint dislocation, chipped, broken, or lost teeth, or accidental canine bite.
  • FIT responses no longer include a training section representative. 
  • Removes prohibition on officers from being required to give statements in administrative investigations if they are also being criminally charged.
  • Allows the investigating sergeant in Type II use of force investigations to delegate witness interviews to other sergeants or, if no other sergeants are available, officers trained in use-of-force investigation witness interviewing. 
  • Training section representative is no longer included in Type III use of force investigations.

Read SPD's policy revisions in full here.

CPC initial analysis

  • The use of force chart in the policy poses problems related to the threshold for use of force to be categorized as Type I, II, or III and the examples of potential actions or outcomes that relate to the type of use of force. 
    • Pointing a firearm at an individual is a Type I use of force even though pulling a firearm is likely to be perceived, rightfully so, as an intent to use the firearm.
    • The improper application of handcuffs is an example for Type I uses of force, which implies that improperly using handcuffs is acceptable.
    • Some force options listed in Type I or II can have lasting impacts that should elevate how their force categories, like Tasers or pepper spray.
    • Some examples of Type III use of force injuries may not be known until after the incident, and perhaps after the investigation concludes. What happens if they conclude prior to the lasting effects become apparent?
  • Use of force preliminary investigations should not be conducted by SPD Sergeants and FIT should not be comprised of SPD members due to their significant motivation to find use of force to be within policy.
  • Language on witness officers' requirement to report force do not parallel requirements promoted by duty to intervene programs and legislation. The policy requires witness officers to report if the use of force has not been reported by other officers, while duty to intervene legislation and training programs require or encourage officers to report all uses of force, regardless of others' reporting.

Comment on this policy

We want to know what you think. Whether or not you agree with the CPC's assessment, you can submit your thoughts on SPD's proposed policies by using the form below, emailing us at, or contacting us any other way. Due to SPD's current deadlines, we ask that you do your best to submit your thoughts by Tuesday, January 26th. 

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