Over the past several years and most recently with the death of George Floyd, policing reform has become an important topic across America. As stated before in the message to our community, “The women and men of the Culver City Police Department continually strive to not only provide the highest level of public safety to our community, but to do so in a manner that is compassionate, professional, and is reflective of the diverse community we serve. Any lack of compassion or abuse of authority doesn’t just tarnish our badge; it tears at the very fabric of law enforcement and community relations.”
Here at the Culver City Police Department, community concerns have been heard, and we wanted to take a moment to provide additional information on the questions we’re receiving regarding training, including topics such as implicit bias, de-escalation, and use of force.
We have received many inquiries from the Culver City community about our Police Department’s policies and how they may or may not meet some of the guidelines being advocated for by police reform organizations. We’ve re-examined our policies and feel that most, if not all, directly align with the spirit of what is being asked for in the recommendations, however there are nuances in verbiage. This is how our policies compare to the “8cantwait.org” website’s recommendations:
• Ban chokeholds and strangleholds – The Culver City Police Department does not allow “chokeholds” or “strangleholds.”. The Carotid Restraint Hold was an approved technique that is no longer acceptable and has been removed from our policy.
• Require de-escalation – De-escalation is interwoven into the department’s operations and is included in the department’s policies for crisis intervention, conducted energy devices (Tasers), mental illness, and civil disputes. The Culver City Police Department is implementing a more comprehensive and inclusive de-escalation policy.
• Require warning before shooting – In situations of a person fleeing who an officer reasonably believes will cause death or serious injury if not immediately apprehended, the officer, where feasible, should identify themselves and issue a verbal warning that deadly force may be used.
• Exhaust all other means before shooting – Our policy requires that officers evaluate the use of other reasonably available resources and techniques when determining whether to use deadly force, and deadly force is only used when there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the officer or another person.
• Duty to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers – Our policy mandates a duty to intercede and immediately report misconduct to a supervisor. If any officer observes another officer using force that is unreasonable or excessive or any other misconduct, they shall report it directly to department supervision without delay.
• Ban shooting at moving vehicles – While our policy does not prohibit shooting at moving vehicles, it is highly discouraged and permitted only when the driver poses a deadly threat. This is consistent with suggestions made from other police reform organizations.
• Require use-of-force continuum – Law enforcement agencies vary whether they incorporate a use-of-force continuum. Continuum’s do not require officers start with one level of force before moving to another. Our policies require officers to use only that amount of force that appears reasonably necessary given the facts and totality of the circumstances.
• Require comprehensive reporting– All uses of force as defined are documented and reported to a department supervisor. The department provides data regarding all officer-involved shootings and incidents involving use of force resulting in death or serious bodily injury to the California Department of Justice. Policy
The Culver City Police Department feels our policies closely mirror the recommendations being asked for by the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign. Your Police Department recognizes and respects the value of all human life and dignity without prejudice to anyone. Entrusting officers with the authority to use reasonable force and to protect the public welfare requires monitoring, evaluation, a careful balancing of all interests and a continuous re-evaluation of existing polices.
In that spirit, our leadership will discuss potential changes in department policy language to ensure they closely align with the recommended practices.
We understand there may continue to be questions about our policies and procedures. We encourage the community to voice their concerns, and we will continue to proactively work with them in partnership to address any issues.
Transparency and the earned trust from our community is the Culver City Police Department’s number one priority. We will continue to provide the best and most professional police services to our residents, business owners, visitors and community stakeholders.
The information provided here is a compilation of information you may find in other areas of our website, including our annual report, and our policies and practices page.
Use of force
We recognize, respect, and value all human life and firmly believe in dignity without prejudice to anyone. We firmly believe in utilizing trained de-escalation tactics to exhaust all options before having to resort to the use of force. For further, see the departments de-escalation policy and use of force policy.
The Culver City Police Department has an extremely diverse group of sworn and non-sworn employees. We believe in hiring the best and the brightest applicants to serve our community to uphold the highest standards and ethical values expected of a law enforcement professional. For department demographics, please refer to the below listed chart. The department demographics are also reflected in our monthly report posted on the department’s website.
We invest heavily in training and strive to remain well above the minimum California Peace Officer Standard and Training (POST) requirements. Our officers consistently train on topics such as the appropriate use of equipment and tactics, legal updates, and a variety of other skills, in the areas of implicit-bias, bias-based policing, de-escalation, procedural justice, mental health, community diversity, as well as training on community policing and outreach. Our Training Section and Command Staff continuously evaluate the department’s techniques and procedures to ensure that they reflect lessons learned from critical high-profile incidents and improved best practices. De-escalation is one of our core philosophies and has been incorporated into multiple training topics. All of our officers are required to complete training in de-escalation tactics.
Please visit the Culver City Police Departments website www.culvercitypd.org to further review this policy update as well as our Policy Manual.
Culver City Police Department