Following is the 2012 Annual Report regarding use of force within the City of La Porte Police Department. It is a basic analysis of use of force as deployed by LPPD personnel occurring from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
The report is required by the Texas Police Chiefs Association Recognition Foundation as an element of their Best Practices Recognition Program. The report analyzes data involving use of force such as:
1. The initial nature of the call prior to force deployed;
2. The reason for the deployment of force;
3. The type of force deployed;
4. The shift on which the use of force occurred;
5. The time frame in which the use of force occurred;
6. The suspect gender on which use of force was deployed;
7. The suspect race on which use of force was deployed;
8. The suspect age on which use of force was deployed;
9. The officer’s gender who deployed use of force;
10. The officer’s race who deployed use of force;
11. Race of officer on suspect (cross-analysis) on which use of force was used;
12. Years of experience of officer deploying use of force;
13. Was the force deployed effective or not;
14. Location type where use of force was deployed;
15. Was officer injured;
16. Was suspect injured;
17. Were additional officers (backup) on scene when use of force was deployed;
18. Officers by name deploying use of force;
Utilizing the above criteria, an analysis was conducted of the documented uses of force involving La Porte Police officers during the 2012 calendar year. Data was collected from the LPPD’s IA Pro internal affairs database and various reports as documented by officers and reviewed by supervisors and Internal Affairs.
It was found that there were a total of eleven (11) deployments of uses of force of various types for the established time frame. There were multiple deployments from different officers in three of the events. In 2011, there were eleven (11). In 2010, there were twenty four (24) uses of force, in 2009 there were twenty eight (28) uses of force, and in 2008 there were twenty nine (29) uses of force. The trend of uses of force by our officers continues to remain steady from 2011. The charts below provide additional information related to these:
1. Justification for the deployment of force:
a. Evading/fleeing officers, suspect assumed aggressive stance: 7
b. Assault on police officer: 2
c. Resisting arrest: 2
2. Type of force deployed:
a. Electronic control device: 11
The deployment of the TASER, our current electronic control device, was effective in 73 percent of the uses. This is a slight decline from 100 percent effectiveness with the electronic control device usage in 2011, after a focus from our training section on deployment and accuracy. In the three events where an initial deployment of the electronic control device was not effective, this was due to improper placement of the second barb. In two of these cases, the suspect had been fleeing and was resisting arrest. Officers were struggling to control the suspects. In the third ineffective deployment, the officer was chasing the suspect on foot and deployed while running, causing inadequate aim.
There were no uses of force documented involving empty hands techniques, firearms, impact weapons, OC spray, etc. There were no accidental discharges documented in 2012, a marked improvement over the 2 documented in 2011. This helps to illustrate the value of continued and enhanced basic firearms handling training and refresher courses as offered by our range master.
3. Shift on which use of force was used:
a. Day 4
b. Evening 5
c. Night 2
4. Suspect gender on which use of force occurred:
a. Male: 11
5. Suspect race on which use of force occurred:
a. White: 6
b. Black: 2
c. Hispanic: 3
6. Suspect age bracket:
a. 18-25: 4
b. 26-30: 5
c. 31-35: 2
7. Officer’s gender deploying use of force:
a. Male: 11
b. Female: 0
8. Officer’s race deploying use of force:
a. White: 10
b. Hispanic: 1
c. Black: 0
d. Other: 0
9. Race of officer on suspect (cross-analysis) on which use of force was used:
a. White officer on white suspect: 4
b. White officer on Hispanic suspect: 4
c. White officer on black suspect: 2
d. Hispanic officer on white suspect: 1
10. Years of experience of officer deploying use of force:
a. 0-2 yrs: 4
b. 3-5 yrs: 4
c. 6-10 yrs: 2
d. 11-15 yrs: 1
11. Was the force used effective:
a. No: 3
b. Yes: 8
In the 2011 report, there were documentations of officers deploying “empty hands” use of force techniques. In these situations, suspects were injured in two situations, and officers were injured in two situations. The injuries were minor in all incidents. When officers used empty hands techniques as a use of force option, there was an increase in risk of injury to the officers and/or suspects. We enacted refresher training for ECD’s in early 2012 and there were no deployments of empty hands techniques in 2012. There were also no serious injuries to offices or suspects requiring medical attention, documented in 2012 as a result of use of force. It was apparent in previous reports that when officers put hands on a suspect, the likelihood of injuries to either party appeared to increase. This trend was reversed for 2012, a positive outcome.
12. The location type where use of force occurred:
a. Yard or open exterior space: 8
b. Building/structure interior: 1
c. Street: 2
13. Were additional officers on the scene as backup, when force was deployed:
a. Yes: 8
b. No: 3
14. Officers deploying force by number of incidents during the time period (names redacted):
a. Officer 1: 2 deployments of force, successful ECD deployment.
b. Officer 2: 2, successful ECD deployments, one to backup Sandoval below.
c. Officer 3: 1, successful ECD deployment.
d. Officer 4: 1, ineffective ECD deployment.
e. Officer 5: 1, successful ECD deployment.
f. Officer 6: 1, ineffective ECD deployment.
g. Officer 7: 1, successful ECD deployment, backup to Martin above.
h. Officer 8: 1, ineffective ECD deployment.
i. Officer 9: 1, successful ECD deployment.
Summary: All deployments of uses of force were found to be within policy and appropriately utilized and documented. Departmental policy authorizes several different methods of less lethal force, which may be utilized in times where it is required, as noted in General Order 2.000. These include OC spray, expandable batons, empty/soft hands techniques, TASERS (electronic control devices), and firearms. It appears from the data that electronic control devices continue to be the less lethal weapon of choice when less lethal force is appropriate.
In our Annual Report for 2009, we reported ineffective deployment in almost half of the TASERS deployed. It was recommended that additional training be mandated for officers to improve efficiency. In 2010, we saw significant improvement in effective deployment. Improvements in accuracy and effective deployments of ECD continued for 2011. It appears from documentation that ineffectiveness for 2012 events was due to highly stressful environments where the suspects were either resisting arrest after fleeing, assuming aggressive stances and preparing to attack the officer, or actively involved in assaulting the officer as an arrest was attempted. The Training Section will continue to pursue refresher training and monitor each future deployment to track needs for further action.
In one ineffective deployment involving an aggressive, actively resisting suspect, the backup officer deployed his ECD while the attack against the initial officer was still underway. One of the barbs struck the initial officer. The suspect was eventually taken into custody and the officer struck by the barb, continued to be active in his performance. This reflected the positive training that officers have received, especially exposing our personnel to real time ECD deployments and receiving current. The officer did not panic and continued to be involved in subduing the suspect, resulting in a positive outcome for the incident.
This report is submitted to the Office of the Chief of Police for review, as required by the Texas Police Chief’s Association Recognition Foundation and the general orders manual of the La Porte Police Department.