By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has received numerous inquiries regarding the #8cantwait campaign and questions about the department’s stance regarding each of the topics. The Department holds its members to the highest standards. Following are the Sheriff’s Department’s positions on the campaign:
Ban chokeholds and strangleholds. The Governor has ordered that all Peace Officer Standards and Training courses which include any instruction in the use of any form of carotid control restraint be discontinued. The Sheriff’s Department has suspended the use and training of the carotid restraint, pending POST review and legislation.
Required de-escalation. De-escalation is taught to deputies in the Basic Academy. Additionally, deputies are required to attend de-escalation training at least bi-annually as mandated by POST.
Require warning before shooting. Deputies are taught to identify themselves as peace officers and give verbal commands to gain compliance. When practical, deputies should give a warning that deadly force may be used.
Exhaust all other means before shooting. A deputy may use lethal force to protect himself/herself or others from what he/she believes to be an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury. A deputy may also use lethal force to accomplish the arrest or prevent the escape of a suspected felon when the deputy has probably cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily injury to the deputy or others.
Duty to intervene. Any deputy who observes another deputy using force, which would not be deemed objectively reasonable, has a duty to intervene to stop the force. Furthermore, all department members have a duty to report misconduct. Department policy mandates that if an employee is aware of possible misconduct by another employee, he/she shall immediately notify a supervisor.
Ban shooting at moving vehicles. Firearms should not be discharged from or at moving vehicles except in exigent circumstances. In these situations, a deputy must have articulable reasons for shooting at the vehicle. The December 2nd terrorist attack in San Bernardino is an example where shooting at a moving vehicle may be necessary to save lives.
Establish use of force continuum. Deputies have different levels of force options available. The force options range from low to moderate to high. While various degrees of force options exist, each deputy shall use only the amount of force reasonably necessary, given the facts and circumstances perceived by the deputy at the time of the event, to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose.
Require comprehensive reporting. All use of force incidents are required to be reported to a supervisor as soon as possible, after the event. The supervisor shall be responsible for documenting and completing the use of force report. Every use of force is scrutinized by a supervisor, lieutenant, and captain. If the force used is believed to be excessive and/or outside of department policy, an investigation is initiated.