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Use of Force Report

2014 La Porte Police Department

Annual Use of Force Report

Following is the 2014 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, 2014 through December 31, 2014.

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 (redacted)

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 nine deployments of uses of force of various types for the established time frame. Eleven documented deployments of use of force occurred in 2013, while in 2012 there were eleven, and in 2011, there were eleven. In 2010, there were twenty four uses of force, in 2009 there were twenty eight uses of force, and in 2008 there were twenty nine uses of force. The charts below provide additional information related to the data:

1.      Justification for the deployment of force:

a.       Assault on police officer/displaying aggressive force toward officer:         8

b. Resisting arrest:                                                                                  1

 

2.      Type of force deployed:

a.       Electronic control device:           4

b.      Hands/feet:                              4

c.       Vehicle:                                   1

The deployment of the TASER, our current electronic control device, was effective in 100 percent of the uses. This is a slight increase from 88 percent effectiveness in 2013, and 50 percent effectiveness in 2012. Our refresher training on deployment of electronic control devices appears to have increased our successful deployments since 2009, when in that year we suffered almost fifty percent failure in TASER deployments.

There were no accidental discharges with firearms documented in 2014, 2013 or 2012, a marked improvement over the two 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. There were also no documented uses of police firearms in force situations for 2014.      

Officers employed empty hands techniques as use of force on four occasions in 2014 and were successful in all of those events. In each of those events where empty hands were utilized there were injuries to officers on two occasions and a suspect suffered injuries in two incidents.  

In 2011, there were also documented incidents of empty hands deployments by officers when reacting to aggressive/combative suspects. In each of those cases as well, there were injuries to officers and/or suspects. We had no such situations in 2012 where empty hands were deployed. In 2013, there were three uses of force by officers with empty hands techniques. In each of those, either officers and/or suspects suffered injuries. The evidence continues to suggest that if officers resort to empty hands as a use of force option, the risk for injury increases significantly to those involved. While urgency to avoid further assault to officers may not allow for other types of counter-force, empty hands should be utilized as secondary weapons only when no other options are available. 

3.      Shift on which use of force was used:

a.       Day                 2

b.      Evening           1

c.       Night               6

4.      Suspect gender on which use of force occurred:

a.       Male:               9

b.      Female:            0

 5.      Suspect race on which use of force occurred:

a.       White:             6                                 

b.      Hispanic:         2

c.       Black:              1

6.      Suspect age bracket:

a.       18-25:              2                                             

b.      26-30:              2                                             

c.       31-35:              1

d.      36-40:              1

e.       Over 41:          3                                                                                             

7.      Officer’s gender deploying use of force:

a.       Male:               9

b.      Female:            0

8.      Officer’s race deploying use of force:

a.       White:             8

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:                      5                     

b.      White officer on Hispanic suspect:                 2                                             

c.       Hispanic officer on white suspect:                  1

d.      White officer on black suspect:                      1                                             

10.      Years of experience of officer deploying use of force:

a.       0-2 yrs:            4                                 

b.      3-5 yrs:            1                                 

c.       6-10 yrs:          2                                 

d.      11-15 yrs:        2                                                         

 11.      Was the force used effective:

a.       Yes:                 9

b.      No:                  0

 12.      The location type where use of force occurred:

a.       Residence:                  4         

b.      Street:                         3

c.       Field/open space:        2                     

13.      Were additional officers on the scene as backup, when force was deployed:

a.       Yes:                 9                     

b.      No:                  0                     

14.      Officers deploying force by name (redacted) and number of incidents during the time period:

a.       Officer .....:            2 deployments of force, both with ECD

b.      Officer.....:          2 deployments of force, one with ECD, one with empty hands technique

c.       Officer.....:             1 with ECD 

d.      Officer.....:               1with empty hands technique                                    

e.       Officer.....:        1 with empty hands technique.                                  

f.       Officer.....:     1 with empty hands technique

g.       Officer.....:        1 with patrol vehicle while attempting to stop robbery suspect                    

Summary: All deployments of uses of force were found to be within policy and appropriately utilized and documented after review by supervisors and the Assistant Chief of Patrol Operations. 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 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.

The Department in 2015, will continue to require mandatory training and re-certifications on firearms and electronic control devices, as well as offering close quarter combat tactics to include empty hands techniques.

This report has been approved by the Chief of Police, as required by the Texas Police Chief’s Association Recognition Foundation and the general orders manual of the La Porte Police Department.