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Principled Policing: The Mayor’s 2017 Q1 & Q2 Police Accountability Report

Publish Date: Sep, 08 2017

Report

THE FULL REPORT CAN BE VIEWED BELOW

This is the Principled Policing Report for the first half of 2017. The purpose of the report is to bring greater transparency to police data and outline how the City of Oakland’s Police Department (OPD) is managing and meeting its accountability goals.

Most notably, compared to our base reporting period of January - June 2012:

· OPD has decreased its Use of Force by 77% (page 12);

· No officer discipline has been reversed by arbitration for over two years (page 9); and

· OPD has reduced the number of Officer Misconduct Legal Claims by 58% (page 15).

Of concern is a slight increase in misconduct complaints brought by residents in 2016 and thus far in 2017 compared with 2015 (although it’s still roughly half the number filed in 2012) (page 2), as well as a slight annual increase in per officer sick leave (page 15).

Pages 8-9 detail some recent policy and training changes prompted by internal affairs investigations. These are just some of the steps we’re taking to ensure that misconduct doesn’t occur in the first place. Just and principled policing is not only about ensuring individual officers are fit and equipped to conduct themselves according to our community’s highest expectations. It also means that we as leaders are constantly adjusting policies, practices and training to reduce harm and increase trust.

We need this community’s partnership to make Oakland the safe community it deserves to be, as well as delivering responsive and trustworthy government services. Please send your feedback and suggestions to me at OfficeoftheMayor@oaklandnet.com.

Respectfully,

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

COMPLAINTS

The Manual of Rules, General Orders and Lexipol Policies contain the all the policies and procedures that govern police conduct for both sworn and civilian staff. OPD keeps all its rules on-line here and continually trains officers to reinforce knowledge and practice application of proper conduct. OPD closely tracks and monitors complaints against officers and regularly reviews complaints, looking for early signs that individual officers or squads need interventions, as well as searching for overall trends that suggest a need for new policies or training. Additionally, the Citizen Police Review Board conducts independent investigations of some of these complaints. This system will change soon due to the passage of Measure LL which will create a Citizen Police Commission in the Fall of 2017. Currently, OPD’s Internal Affairs Division (IAD) reviews all complaint cases. Its complaint acceptance policy can be viewed by the public here.

Internal Affairs Division (IAD) Complaints Received January 2012 through June 2017

Between January 1 and June 30, 2017, 1,360 allegations concerning police services – including misconduct – were filed, resulting in 588 cases. A single case can include multiple allegations.

Individual Manual of Rules Allegations Received by IAD January 2012 through June 2017

A review of complaints received between January 1 and June 30, 2017 shows the largest number (39 percent) of the complaints against the Police Department included duplicates and service complaints. Service complaints are not actionable because they did not involve allegations of misconduct against specific employees, but instead pertained to a police practice mandated by policy or law – such as towing of a vehicle, or a delay in service – such as a long wait for an officer’s presence due to call for service volume. Duplicate complaints are the same complaint received more than once.

Thirty-seven percent of allegations alleged performance of duty. This is defined as officer or employee misconduct, indicating that an officer or employee did not perform his or her assigned duties and responsibilities as required or directed by law or departmental rule. Violations of performance of duty include, but are not limited to, the following:

· Intentional illegal search, seizure, or arrest;

· Unintentional or improper search, seizure, or arrest;

· Failure to perform duties as required or directed by law, Departmental rule, policy, or order;

· Improper care of the property of persons; and

· Changing a work assignment without authority.

Disposition of Individual Allegations January 2012 to June 2017

* For the period of January to June 2017, not all cases have yet resulted in a finding. Investigations may take up to 180 days to complete. This figure will be updated next report.

Between January 1 and June 30, 2017, dispositions were reached on 1,106 cases involving complaints against OPD. Of these 1,106 dispositions, the largest portion (36 percent) were Administratively Closed, meaning they were based on a service complaint or the investigation cannot or should not proceed. Instances in which the investigation cannot or should not proceed include (but are not limited to) the complainant withdrawing the complaint; the affected OPD employee separating from employment; a failure of the complainant to identify an act or omission that would constitute an actual violation of the Manual of Rules; or a service complaint. The other findings are defined as follows:

· Sustained: When an investigation discloses sufficient evidence to establish that the act occurred and that it constituted misconduct. Six percent of allegations were sustained in Q1 and Q2 2017.

· Not Sustained: When an investigation discloses that there is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint or fully exonerate the member. Three percent of allegations were not sustained in Q1 and Q2 2017.

· Unfounded: When an investigation discloses that the alleged acts did not occur or did not involve department members. Complaints that are determined to be frivolous are classified as unfounded. Thirty-three percent of allegations were not sustained in Q1 and Q2 2017.

· Exonerated: When an investigation discloses that the alleged act occurred but was justified, lawful, and/or proper. Sixteen percent of allegations were exonerated in Q1 and Q2 2017.

· Informally Resolved: OPD provides for an Informal Complaint Resolution (ICR) process. This is when a complainant agrees to have a subject employee’s supervisor sit down with the employee for training, policy review, and/or a discussion of alternatives to handling whatever matter led to the complaint. The ICR is documented in the subject employee’s electronic file and the IAD control file. Five percent of allegations were informally resolved in Q1 and Q2 2017.


Disciplinary Decisions for Sustained Cases January 2012 to June 2017

For sustained allegations of misconduct, discipline ranging from counseling/training to termination may be imposed. For Q1 and Q2 2017, there were 62 instances of imposed discipline as compared to 79 for Q3 and Q4 2016. The most common discipline imposed was counseling/training (58 percent); followed by suspension (19 percent); written reprimand (18 percent); and other (such as retirement, resignation, or release from probation – two percent). There were two terminations for misconduct in the first half of 2017.

POLICY AND TRAINING RECOMMENDATIONS

In April of 2016, OPD began formally tracking all policy and training recommendations that resulted from Internal Affairs investigations. If a recommendation is urgent, it is addressed through an immediate policy change or training implementation. If not urgent, the recommendation may be included in the next regular policy rewrite or regular training. For 2017, these recommendations included:

· Evaluating policy concerning probable cause arrest authorization in light of the closure of the OPD jail

· Evaluating policy related to the new electronic consolidated arrest report

· Revising policy concerning the issuance of business cards to include serial numbers

· Considering access to civilian employee files for supervisors in relation to administrative investigations

· Evaluating the need for additional training for officers in the Patrol Rifle Program on whether the low ready positions hinders line of sight

· Reviewing and possibly modifying policy concerning the refusal of completing collision reports

· Reviewing policy to determine whether revisions should be made to address notifications that are less than three hours before reporting for duty

· Revising the background investigation policy to allow greater flexibility in approving or reviewing background investigations by the Personnel and Training commander

· Reviewing the policy related to the outdated noise ordinance

· Reviewing the Communications Division policy with staff to ensure understanding

· Revising the Personal Data Recording Device (PDRD or body-worn camera) policy to include requiring activation during civil standbys[1]

· Revising the PDRD policy to require activation for all public contacts

· Requiring officers to advise the Communications Division of all consensual encounters – including flag-downs

· Training the Records Section staff in dealing with difficult people to possibly include tactical communication training

· Providing the Special Victims Section with recording devices for the Intake Desk and with training on recording calls with distressed people

· Providing training that demonstrates smartphone video as it compares to body worn camera video

· Ensuring that operations plans are completed as quickly as possible for planned events

· Increasing the amount of time in driver training devoted to safe backing techniques, driving at appropriate speeds, and handling vehicles at high speed

Arbitration Decisions January 2012 to June 2017

Between January 1 and June 30, 2017, one OPD matter went to arbitration. It resulted in a reduction in discipline.

USES OF FORCE

The Oakland Police Department defines Use of Force as:

  • Use of Force - Any physical or mechanical intervention used by a member or employee to defend, control, overpower, restrain or overcome the resistance of an individual.
  • Reasonable Force - That amount of force that is objectively reasonable to affect a lawful police purpose and protect the safety of members or others based upon the totality of the circumstances.
  • Lethal Force - Any force that creates a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury.
  • Less-Lethal Force - Any use of force, other than lethal force, which by design and application is less likely to cause serious bodily injury or death.
  • Officer-Involved Shooting - Any non-accidental discharge of a firearm by an officer outside of training.

OPD evaluates any state-sanctioned use of force in four levels:

FORCE LEVEL: LEVEL 4

A firearm intentionally pointed at a person

An on-duty firearm discharge to dispatch an injured animal

A Weaponless Defense Technique: hair grab, pressure to mastoid or jaw line, shoulder muscle grab

A Weaponless Defense Technique Control Hold: escort (elbow), twist lock, arm-bar, bent-wrist

FORCE LEVEL: LEVEL 3

Oleoresin Capsicum/Pepper Spray applied to a person

The baton used for a non-striking purpose

The use of a Taser

A Weaponless Defense Technique: hand/palm/elbow strikes, kicks, leg sweeps, takedowns

Any impact weapon w/o contact

An on-duty firearm discharge at an animal

FORCE LEVEL: LEVEL 2

Any strike to the head

Any unintentional firearm discharge w/o injury

Carotid restraint w/o the loss of consciousness

A police canine bites

Use of impact weapons w/contact

Any use of force w/injury

FORCE LEVEL: LEVEL 1

Any use of force resulting in death

Any unintentional firearm discharge w/injury

Any intentional firearm discharge at a person

Any intentional impact weapon strike to the head

Any force w/a substantial risk of causing death

Any UOF investigation that is elevated to a Level 1

Serious bodily injuries

The Oakland Police Department continues to make a strategic effort to reduce the use of force through the following means:

  • Increased Training- We have increased classroom training to remind officers of the legal requirements for using force – even lower level uses of force, such as the pointing of a firearm at a person. We have added additional dynamic training that includes simulated arrests, video simulators and role playing with non-lethal firearms as well as other force options. Additionally, more officers are trained in crisis Intervention techniques with a focus on interacting with persons experiencing mental distress.
  • Enhanced Policy- Oakland Police Department policies and procedures emphasize decision making which weighs the need for immediate apprehension against the amount of risk immediate apprehension creates for community members, officers, and the person to be apprehended. Policies are implemented which require and value accomplishing police objectives with respect and minimal reliance on the use of physical force.
  • Improved Review- Executive commander and review board analyses of serious uses of force require assessments as to whether actions leading up to the use of force made a use of force more likely to occur. Analysis also requires an enumeration of other available options which could have or should have been considered.
  • Using Body-Worn Cameras- The Oakland Police Department was the first large agency in the United States to equip all uniformed officers with body-worn cameras. Not only is there correlation between body-worn camera use and recent reductions in uses of force and complaints, but the Department is forging new ways of evaluating body-worn camera footage within contexts of officer performance data, citizen contact analysis, and risk management.
  • Increased Oversight- All uses of force by Oakland police officers are reported, tracked, and reviewed. The lowest level uses of force are reviewed by the supervisor and commander of the officer using the force through a review of video. Higher level uses of force are investigated by the Oakland Police Department Homicide Section, the Internal Affairs Division, and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.



Uses of Force January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017

From January 1 to June 30, 2017, there were 167 uses of force, the lowest in over five years. There was one Level 1 use of force. Six percent of the uses of force were Level 2; 20 percent were Level 3, and 74 percent were Level 4.

FORCE REVIEW BOARDS:

OPD conducts Force Review Boards (FRBs) and Executive Force Review Boards (EFRBs) to independently evaluate and review the factual circumstances surrounding force incidents and whether the incident suggests a need for policy or training changes going forward. FRBs analyze and assess lower level use of force incidents. EFRBs analyze and assess Level 1 lethal use of force incidents, in-custody deaths, deadly incidents related to pursuits, and other incidents at the direction of the Chief of Police.

FRBs are comprised of three command staff members, all of whom must hold the rank of Captain of Police or higher. EFRBs are comprised of three command staff members, at least one of whom must hold the rank of Deputy Chief of Police and serve as Board Chair. The other two members of the EFRB must hold the rank of Captain of Police or higher. The boards have two duties:

1. Determine whether the use of force complied with departmental policy

2. Identify any needed policy revision needed as a result of learnings from the investigation.

In the first half of 2017, 11 EFRBs and FRBs were held, compared to 14 for the first half of 2016 and five for the first half of 2015. In the first half of 2017, these boards reviewed 30 instances of force, compared to 51 for the first half of 2016 and 15 for the first half of 2015. Use of force incidents are not always reviewed during the year in which they occurred. Below is a listing of each application of force for the first half of 2017. Multiple force applications are reviewed in each FRB and EFRB.

Force Applications Reviewed through June 30, 2017

· Three – Strike to the Head (Type 9)

· Two – Electronic Control Weapon (Type 11)

· Four – Impact Weapon with Contact (Type 12)

· Two – Any Use of Force Resulting in Injury (Other than a Level 1 Force Type, Type 13)

· Three – Police Canine Bites (Type 14)

· Five – Weaponless Defense Techniques (Type 16)

· Three – Electronic Control Weapon fired, but Missed (Type 18)

· Five – Intentionally Pointing a Firearm at a Person (Type 22)

· One – Escort, Twist Lock, Arm-Bar, Bent-Wrist (Type 25)

· One Weaponless Defense Technique (Reduced to Level 4 Use of Force, Type 26-16)

· One Unintentional Firearm Discharge without Injury (Type 27)


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Below is additional information concerning sworn personnel within the Oakland Police Department.

Jan-Jun 2012

Jul-Dec 2012

Jan-Jun 2013

Jul-Dec 2013

Jan-Jun 2014

Jul-Dec 2014

Jan-Jun 2015

Jul-Dec 2015

Jan-Jun 2016

Jul-Dec 2016

Jan-Jun 2017

Number of complaints per officer

1.85

2.25

1.56

0.87

0.77

0.82

0.73

0.66

0.77

0.80

0.77

Uses of force per arrest

0.13

0.10

0.10

0.09

0.05

0.05

0.04

0.04

0.03

0.03

0.03

Level 1

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Level 2

0.01

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Level 3

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.01

Level 4

0.12

0.09

0.09

0.08

0.05

0.05

0.04

0.03

0.03

0.03

0.02

Uses of force per officer

1.11

0.85

0.71

0.61

0.46

0.45

0.39

0.31

0.28

0.26

0.22

Number of complaints per dispatched incident

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Uses of force per dispatched incident*

0.01

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Sick hours per officer

10.25

9.01

10.24

13.28

10.82

12.73

13.25

10.91

12.97

13.11

12.78

Officer-Involved Shootings

6

1

4

0

0

0

3

3

0

0

1

Vehicle Pursuits

81

70

78

70

22

21

28

24

21

36

36

All Claims against OPD

97

66

65

58

74

57

55

67

68

48

60

Police Misconduct Claims

76

45

50

41

43

34

29

31

47

24

32

* This number was provided incorrectly by OPD in previous reports. It has been corrected here.

CONCLUSION

As OPD enters the second half of 2017, we look forward to several promising developments that will strengthen our accountability and transparency. Oakland welcomed a new permanent police chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, and created its first civilian Police Commission. We are also continuing to implement the recommendations in Stanford’s Data for Change Report to address implicit bias and racial disparities in policing. We welcome your continued feedback on how we can better share and explain our policing data by emailing officeofthemayor@oaklandnet.com or calling 510-238-3141.

[1] A civil standby is an incident in which police presence is requested while a person removes property from a former residence where conflict may exist with a remaining occupant of the residence.