Use of Force Workgroup

             MAPLEWOOD’S “USE OF FORCE WORKGROUP” CULMINATES PROCESSS WITH
​                                     WRITTEN GUIDANCE TO THEIR POLICE OFFICERS

      Council appointed workgroup invests more than 550 hours reviewing police department policies.

​Maplewood’s 12-member Workgroup recently finished its Council appointed task of reviewing a substantial portion of the police department’s 400-page policy manual, including all policies pertaining to police officer use of force.

​During its time together, the workgroup researched and reviewed a broad range of departmental polices, including: body worn camera use, bias-based policing, responding to persons in crisis, and requirements for the use of deadly force. The workgroup offered several specific policy recommendations, such as adding a police vehicle pursuit tactic that is intended to bring high-speed pursuits to an end more quickly and safely, and authorizing a neck restraint tactic to bring violent encounters to an end with less risk of injury. Police department leadership must act upon the group’s recommendations within 30 days and provide the City Council with the rationale should any of the policy recommendations not be adopted.

​ One key product of the workgroup’s time together was a document titled “Guidance to Our Police Officers,” which will become the Prologue to the police department’s policy manual. A full copy of the guidance document is below. This document, which was unanimously adopted by the Workgroup reflects the group’s understanding of the challenges police officers face, while still providing clarity about what it asks of police officers serving in Maplewood.

​“I couldn’t be more proud of our police officers and the community members serving on this workgroup,” said Maplewood Mayor Nora Slawik. “The efforts of the workgroup will serve as lasting guidance to our department, which will result in delivery of the most fair, transparent, and professional police services possible,” Mayor Slawik added.

​Following final adoption of the updated policy in late March, Maplewood Police Department’s command, supervisory, and leadership staff will create training plans and protocols to ensure that the Workgroup’s values and specific recommendations are thoughtfully implemented.

​In July of 2016, following high-profile police shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Falcon Heights, Minnesota, the Maplewood City Council established a Workgroup to review and make recommendations for changes to the police department’s “use of force” policies and training protocols. Since that time, Workgroup members participated in 15 meetings and invested more than 550 cumulative hours to policy research and review.