The Unified Police Department (UPD), under the guidance of Sheriff Rosie Rivera and Board of Directors, is constantly reviewing and updating policies and training to ensure officers are utilizing best practices and are equipped to serve our communities. We will continue to engage our community leaders and Citizen’s Advisory Board as we explore opportunities for improvement.
Officers are trained to use the least amount of force necessary to achieve a peaceful outcome. Continued de-escalation training, provided to all officers, helps reinforce this. De-escalation tactics have been incorporated into our defensive tactics and firearms trainings which engage officers in scenarios that allow them to utilize de-escalation tactics. To give officers additional tools, UPD provides cultural sensitivity training, including LGBTQ sensitivity training.Annually, UPD officers receive training on these topics:
For the last seven years UPD officers have received additional training on the following topics:
* Defensive tactics focuses on principles and practical aspects of personal safety. De-escalation techniques are included in these trainings.
In 2017, the Unified Police Department (UPD) received a grant to purchase cameras and video storage for half of our patrol officers. Upon expiration of the grant in 2019, the UPD Board of Directors allocated funds to continue the program.
Both state statute (77-7a-104) and UPD policies direct the mandatory activation and use of a body camera. Officers are required to activate their body cameras upon arriving at any call for service or on pro-active law enforcement encounter such as traffic stops and pedestrian stops. Failure to activate a body camera is a disciplinary offense.
UPD established a mental health unit lead by a full-time sergeant, detective and licensed therapist. A total of 12 officers representing all of our precincts work with the unit as a secondary assignment. This unit is trained to respond to mental health crisis and engage in follow up with residents in need of support. Members of the unit receive and provide training specific to de-escalating mental health crisis and how to effectively communicate with individuals in crisis.
In our continued efforts to be transparent, the Unified Police Department is providing information on our policies related to the citizen inquiries about police practices and procedures.