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San Jose Police Department
PRESS RELEASE
Pursuant to Cal Govt. Code Sect 6254(f)
San Jose Police Department
Media Relations Unit
201 W. Mission Street, San Jose, CA 95110
Ph (408) 277-5339 Fax (408) 286-0923

New San Jose Police Department Use of Force Policy
Filed under Press Release, on 11/14/2017 12:15:00 PM by Author: Sergeant Enrique Garcia #2936.

Media Advisory


San Jose, CA — The San Jose Police Department has significantly changed Department protocol on the review of force used by its officers. Prior to this change, the SJPD generally handled uses of force the same, unless a formal complaint was filed, regardless of severity.

The new policy, “Command Officer Responsibility by Use of Force Category,” identifies four tiers of force based on the type of force option used or the resulting injury. Higher categories of force will receive greater scrutiny by the Department’s chain of command. Immediate supervisors will continue to be responsible for assessing incidents in which the use of force causes only a minor injury or complaint of pain. Command staff – including the Chief of Police or Assistant Chief of Police in the most serious cases and in cases identified by the first-level command officer – will review the incident and the supervisor’s initial investigation. Command staff will then determine whether the supervisor’s investigation was adequate and whether any red flags indicate a need for investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit for further examination of the incident.

“I applaud Chief Garcia and the Police Department for taking this proactive step to ensure that serious use-of-force cases get an even deeper level of review,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This new policy serves as the latest example of our collective commitment to ensuring that the San Jose Police Department remains a model for accountability and community trust.”

Aaron Zisser, San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor, said, “I am encouraged that the policy change incorporates key elements of my office’s recommendations and represents a meaningful effort to modernize SJPD’s accountability procedures and ensure close review of serious uses of force. I look forward to seeing how the new policy plays out and, along with Chief Garcia, examining whether further changes are needed.”

Chief Eddie Garcia said, “I continue to be proud of the professionalism shown by the men and women of the San Jose Police Department.  We are constantly trying to better ourselves as an organization, and this is but one example.  Policies such as these cannot be done in a vacuum, thus alienating the rank and file.  I wish to thank the San Jose Police Officers' Association for their collaborative approach and working with me on this very important issue.”

In its 2016 annual report, the Office of the Independent Police Auditor issued recommendations that the Police Department create a similar series of tiers to ensure proper review of uses of force.

Anyone interested in obtaining additional information on this policy may contact the San Jose Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit at 408-277-4094, the Office of Independent Police Auditor at 408-794-6226, or view the policy here: Command Officer Responsibility by Use of Force Category.pdf

BY: Sgt. Enrique Garcia #2936 AUTHORIZED BY: Chief Eddie Garcia
DATE: 11/14/17 TIME: 12:15 PM DATE: 11/14/17 TIME: 12:15 PM


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