Asheville Police Department report for 2017 shows decrease in use of force

Press release from the Asheville Police Department:

Asheville, NC (February 27, 2018): The Asheville Police Department has released the 2017 Professional Standards annual report. The Professional Standards report is released yearly to provide a comprehensive picture of the Asheville Police Department’s performance. The report analyzes the department’s vehicle pursuits, use of force, assaults on officers, bias based policing and administrative investigations for calendar year 2017.

Chief Tammy Hooper states, “One of the highlights in the annual report is the significant 61% decrease in the department’s overall use of force. In 2016 and 2017 we worked with the community to revise our use of force policy and focus on de-escalation training. The work the Department has done in these areas is demonstrated in this report.”

There are a variety of factors which may have contributed to the dramatic reduction in use of force for the 2017 calendar year:

  • Full deployment of body worn cameras to operations personnel and the review of all use of force incidents by the chain of command and Professional Standards.
  • Mandatory de-escalation training for all officers in the first half of 2017.
  • The department’s increased emphasis on de-escalation and revised use of force policy.
  • Requirement for a supervisor to respond to the scene and conduct a preliminary review of all use of force incidents.

The Asheville Police Department also experienced a 46% decrease in citizen complaints. The report provides a detailed breakdown of complaints by type (note one complaint can result in more than one allegation).

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