Mayor Steven M. Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea announced today that the “Use of Force” General Order for the Jersey City Police Department will be amended where necessary and clarified where necessary to be consistent with best practices.
“I took the pledge last night when President Obama asked mayors to step up and we are starting on Day 1 with changes and clarification where needed” said Mayor Fulop. “We have the best police department anywhere in the country and when it is possible to be even better, we will take steps to get there.”
Over the next few weeks the Mayor will work in conjunction with the City Council and the community to make sure that Jersey City remains a national leader with regards to policing policy.
Frequently Asked JCPD General Orders & Guidelines:
1) Require De-Escalation
See JCPD G.O. 02-16BACKGROUND. In using force, the utmost restraint should be exercised. The degree of force employed in any situation should be only that reasonably necessary. Officers should exhaust all other reasonable means before resorting to the use of force. (p.1) However, please see “The Use of Force Continuum” (p.3-4) The use of force continuum is similar to a progressive set of steps in which an officer would ideally take one step at a time. However, the circumstances presented to an officer may dictate the skipping of any number of intermediate steps and immediately may necessitate jumping to a higher step in order to effectively and safely protect him/herself and./or others. (p. 3-4)
2) Require Warning Before Shootings
See JCPD G.O. 02-16 1.2.2 AVAILABLE LEVELS OF FORCE Verbal Commands –Verbal commands, when practical, should proceed every level of force needed. (p. 4) However, the circumstances presented to an officer may dictate the skipping of any number of intermediate steps and immediately may necessitate jumping to a higher step in order to effectively and safely protect him/herself and./or others. (p. 4)
3) Chokehold & Strangleholds Policy:
The use of chokeholds and strangleholds are not recognized tactics as part of the Jersey City Police Department Training, and should only be used as an absolute last resort in circumstances where no reasonable alternative is available to protect the officer’s safety and/or the safety of another person.
4) Exhaust All Other Means Before Shooting:
See Answer to Require De-Escalation above.
5) Duty To Intervene
See JCPD G.O. 02-16 BACKGROUND. Every Officer is mandated and required to take appropriate action in any situation where the officer is clearly convinced that another officer is using force in violation of state law. Officers are obligated to report situations in which force is used illegally by anyone. Officers are mandated to do whatever they can to interrupt the flow of events before a fellow officer does something illegal and before any official action is necessary. (P. 1)
6) Require Use of Force Continuum
See JCPD G.O. 02-16, 1.2 et seq. AVAILABLE LEVELS OF FORCE: In ascending Order Presence, Verbal Commands, Show of Non-Deadly force (production of O/C Canister or Impact weapon), Physical Control “Empty hands” Techniques, Hand Held Aerosol Restraint (O/C Spray), Defensive Impact Weapon, Threat of Deadly Force, Conducted Energy Device and Deadly Force. (p. 6)
Please note the ascending Order deviation if the officer reasonably believes such action (Deadly Force) is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. See JCPD G.O. 02-16, 3. USE OF DEADLY FORCE (JUSTIFICATION) (P. 7)
7) Require Comprehensive Reporting
See JCPD G.O. 02-16, 5. USE OF FORCE REPORTS . 5.1 In all instances when physical force, mechanical or deadly force is used, each officer who has employed such force SHALL complete:
All reports and a Use of Force report. (See p. 9)
Language to be Added: Supervisor shall respond to the scene of any use of force by any department member in all cases, when possible, the Internal Affairs Bureau will review all use of force reports whether a complaint is issued or not.
8) Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
See JCPD G.O. 02-16, 3.2 RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE 3.2.6 Discharging weapons from or at moving vehicles, or at the driver or occupant of a moving vehicle is prohibited unless the officer reasonably believes:
184.108.40.206 There exists an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm to officers or another person; AND
220.127.116.11 No other means are available at that time to avert or eliminate the danger.
3.2.7 An Officer shall not fire a weapon solely to disable moving vehicles. (P. 8)