NORTHRIDGE, CA — The Los Angeles Police Commission unanimously voted to formally adopt de-escalation tactics into their rulebook and training on Tuesday in an effort to lower the amount of police involved shootings in Los Angeles.
The new policy requires officers to try, whenever possible, to defuse tense situations before firing their guns.
The commission has spent the last 13 months revising the policy, which also outlines how and when an officer can use deadly force.
The official adaptation of de-escalation, a decades-old concept, also strengthens the commission and department’s authority to fire or discipline officers for not properly de-escalating a situation.
This means officers can now be judged on whether or not they took all of the necessary steps towards diffusing a situation before using deadly force.
The policy requires officers to be taught to let situations unfold for longer periods of time, to move away from the person, to try talking to the person and to call in for back up before using their weapons, “whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so.”
LAPD officials also said, according to Daily News, the department used recommendations from the American Civil Liberties Union to incorporate the concept of de-escalation.
However, the ACLU expressed concerns about the depth of the policy, citing that the de-escalation revision was only added to the preamble of the police manual and is not very detailed.
Credit, CBS Los Angeles
The LAPD also issued a 400-page detailed statistics report on police use-of-force for 2016, which included that police shootings went from 48 in 2015 to 40 in 2016, a 17 percent decrease.
By Shelby Charlene
Photo, Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
Video, CBS Los Angeles