Southlake Police Department Use of Force Policies

Download the Southlake Police Department’s Use of Force Policies.

REQUIRE DE-ESCALATION

SOUTHLAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

De-escalation is the preferred, tactically sound approach and officers are tasked with using this method to reduce the need for force whenever circumstances allow, and it is safe to do so. The Department provides officers with annual training in de-escalation, which includes scenario-based training exercises to practice the application of this skill. Officers also receive annual training on the Department’s use of force policies.

BAN CHOKE HOLDS & STRANGLEHOLDS

SOUTHLAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

Southlake Officers are to refrain from using any technique that is not instructed by the Department and has the potential for serious injury, such as carotid neck restraints.

REQUIRE WARNING BEFORE SHOOTING

SOUTHLAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

Southlake Officers are required, whenever feasible, to issue a verbal warning and identify themselves as “police officers” when they are about to use deadly force.

EXHAUST ALL OTHER MEANS BEFORE SHOOTING

SOUTHLAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

Southlake Officers are permitted to use deadly force when they reasonably believe that the action is in defense of human life, when all other means have been exhausted or are inappropriate due to the circumstances. Deadly force is prohibited against individuals who pose a danger only to themselves. Any discharge of a firearm by an officer that results in the death or serious bodily injury of another will be reviewed by specially trained personnel, as designated by the Chief of Police.

BAN SHOOTING AT MOVING VEHICLES

SOUTHLAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

Southlake Officers shall refrain from discharging a firearm at or from a moving vehicle, except when the officer reasonably believes that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or any other person, and all other means have been reasonably exhausted or would be inappropriate due to the circumstances.

REQUIRE USE OF FORCE CONTINUUM

SOUTHLAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

The Southlake Police Department holds the sanctity of human life in the highest regard. While the use of force is permitted by law under certain circumstances, officers must base their decisions to use force on the totality of circumstances presented to them in any given situation. Southlake Officers are only to use the amount of force necessary, reasonable, and proportional to control a situation or defend themselves or others from harm.

REQUIRE COMPREHENSIVE REPORTING

SOUTHLAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

Southlake Officers are required to submit a use of force report in the following situations: whenever a firearm or taser is pointed at an individual to affect an arrest or detention, when force is applied using empty hand control (other than handcuffing), when force is applied through the use of intermediate weapons or deadly force weapons, when a firearm is discharged (outside of training), and when an officer’s actions result in the injury or death of another person. Each report is reviewed by the officer’s supervisor as well as the Department’s Chain of Command. A written analysis of all use of force reports is completed annually by the Department’s Professional Standards Division and is submitted to the Chief of Police for review.

DUTY TO INTERVENE

SOUTHLAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE

The unnecessary use of force is unlawful. Southlake Officers will refrain from the unnecessary use of force. Any officer who observes another officer using unnecessary force is required to intervene when in a safe position to do so to prevent excessive force. Officers are required to promptly report their observations and actions to a supervisor.