Chief Camacho's response to questions regarding the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign
Since the tragic death of George Floyd, some citizens have inquired about the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign. The “8 Can’t Wait” campaign was launched in June 2020 and lists eight policies for law enforcement agencies to adopt in order to reduce force by police officers. Below are the campaigns eight policy change recommendations:
Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds
Require Warning Before Shooting
Require to Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting
Duty to Intervene
Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
Have Use of Force Continuum
Require Comprehensive Reporting
The Chambersburg Borough police department prides itself on transparency and its constant evolution as a professional, empathic, and integrity-based organization. I will address each one of the proposed changes as it directly relates to current Chambersburg Borough police policies and procedures.
- Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds- The CPD Defensive Tactics instructors do not teach these techniques. They are prohibited in our policy unless deadly force is authorized.
- Require De-escalation - De-escalation techniques, such as time, distance, and communication, are required when feasible. All CPD officers are trained in Crisis Intervention; a main component of that training is the use of verbal de-escalation techniques
- Require Warning Before Shooting- CPD policy states “...a verbal warning should precede the use of deadly force, where feasible.”
- Require to Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting- Deadly force is the last resort and only is used when an officer believes all other options have been used or would be ineffective. This is further explained and demonstrated during the twice a year Use of Force training attended by CPD officers.
- Duty to Intervene- This is clearly stated in our policy “Any officer present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the same circumstances shall, when in a position to do so, intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force. An Officer who observes another employee use force that exceeds the degree of force permitted by law should promptly report these observations to a supervisor.”
- Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles- From our policy “Shots fired at or from a moving vehicle is rarely effective. Officers should move out of the path of an approaching vehicle instead of discharging their firearm at the vehicle or any of its occupants. An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officers or others. Officers should not shoot at any part of a vehicle in an attempt to disable the vehicle.”
- Have Use of Force Continuum- The CPD focuses their defensive tactics training on the prevailing constitutional legal standard “objective reasonableness” under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. There is no direct or implied legal standard that requires police trainers to utilize a use-of-force continuum in defensive tactics or force training. The courts will look to the substance of training, rather than its format.
- Require Comprehensive Reporting- CPD policy states “Any use of force by a member of this department shall be documented promptly, completely and accurately in an appropriate report, depending on the nature of the incident. The officer should articulate the factors perceived and why he/she believed the use of force was reasonable under the circumstances. To collect data for purposes of training, resource allocation, analysis and related purposes, the Department may require the completion of additional report forms, as specified in department policy, procedure or law. Any action taken by an officer that results in injury or alleged injury should be reported under this policy.” This includes pointing a firearm at an individual.
The CPD uses Lexipol as a policy management system. Lexipol has provided constitutionally sound policies to thousands of law enforcement agencies across the nation based on the latest statutory and case law and progressive best practices, with tools that allow agencies to customize their policies to the unique needs of each community. Every Lexipol subscribing agency is regularly provided with ongoing updates regarding changes in case law, legislative law, and best practices to help them keep their policies current.
Chief Ron Camacho