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Use of Force Report

2013 La Porte Police Department

Annual Use of Force Report

Following is the 2013 Annual Report regarding use of force within the City of La Porte Police Department. It is a basic analysis of use of force as deployed by LPPD personnel occurring from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.

The report is required by the Texas Police Chiefs Association Recognition Foundation as an element of their Best Practices Recognition Program.

The report analyzes data involving use of force such as:

·         The initial nature of the call prior to force deployed;

·         The reason for the deployment of force;

·         The type of force deployed;

·         The shift on which the use of force occurred;

·         The time frame in which the use of force occurred;

·         The suspect gender on which use of force was deployed;

·         The suspect race on which use of force was deployed;

·         The suspect age on which use of force was deployed;

·         The officer’s gender who deployed use of force;

·         The officer’s race who deployed use of force;

·         Race of officer on suspect (cross-analysis) on which use of force was used;

·         Years of experience of officer deploying use of force;

·         Was the force deployed effective or not;

·         Location type where use of force was deployed;

·         Was officer injured;

·         Was suspect injured;

·         Were additional officers (backup) on scene when use of force was deployed;

·         Officers by name deploying use of force (Redacted)

Data was collected from the LPPD’s IA Pro internal affairs database and various reports as documented by officers and reviewed by supervisors and Internal Affairs. 

It was found that there were a total of 11 deployments of uses of force of various types for the established time frame. In 2012 there were 11, and in 2011, there were 11. In 2010, there were 24 uses of force, in 2009 there were 28 uses of force, and in 2008 there were 29 uses of force.

The trend of uses of force by our officers continues to remain steady for the past three years. The charts below provide additional information related to the data:

Justification for the deployment of force:

a. Resisting arrest:                          7

b. Evading/fleeing officers:               3

c. Assault on police officer:               1


Type of force deployed:

Electronic control device:                 8

Hands/feet:                                    3

 

The deployment of the TASER, our current electronic control device, was effective in 88 percent of the uses. This is a slight increase from 50 percent effectiveness in 2012 but down from 100 percent effectiveness with the electronic control device usage in 2011. In the one event where an initial deployment of the electronic control device was not effective, this was due to improper placement of the second barb while officer and suspect were both running and due to the distance between the two.

In a second incident, officers deployed TASERS and the suspect pulled the barbs out before deployment could occur. However, backup personnel successfully deployed TASERS, ending any further confrontation. Our refresher training on deployment of electronic control devices appears to have increased our successful deployments since 2009, when in that year we suffered almost fifty percent failure in TASER deployments.

There were no accidental discharges documented in 2013 or 2012, a marked improvement over the two documented in 2011. This helps to illustrate the value of continued and enhanced basic firearms handling training and refresher courses as offered by our range master.      

Officers employed empty hands techniques as use of force on three occasions and were successful in each of those events. However, it is critical to point out that in each of those events where empty hands were utilized there were injuries to officers on two occasions and the suspect suffered minor injuries in all three incidents.

In one incident, empty hands were employed due to immediacy with a backup deployment of a TASER. The TASER deployment ended the confrontation but the officer suffered a minor injury due to the resisting from the suspect. Overall, officers were injured on three occasions and suspects were injured in five events.

In 2011, there were also documented incidents of empty hands deployments by officers when reacting to aggressive/combative suspects. In each of those cases as well, there were injuries to officers and/or suspects. We had no such situations in 2012 where empty hands were deployed.

The evidence seems to suggest that if officers have to utilize empty hands the risk for injury increases significantly to those involved. While urgency to avoid further assault to officers may not allow for other types of counter-force, empty hands should be utilized as secondary weapons when other options are available. 

Shift on which use of force was used:

Day                   2

Evening             8

Night                1

Suspect gender on which use of force occurred:

Male:                10

Female:             1

 

Suspect race on which use of force occurred:

White:               10                        

Hispanic:           1

Black:                0

    

Suspect age bracket:

18-25:              4                                    

26-30:              1                                    

31-35:              2

Over 35:            4                                                                          

 

Officer’s gender deploying use of force:

Male:                11

Female:             0

 

Officer’s race deploying use of force:

White:               8

Hispanic:           2

Black:                1

Other:               0

 

Race of officer on suspect (cross-analysis) on which use of force was used:

White officer on white suspect:         7                

White officer on Hispanic suspect:     1                                    

Hispanic officer on white suspect:     2

Black officer on white suspect:         1                                    

 

Years of experience of officer deploying use of force:

0-2 yrs:             1                          

3-5 yrs:             4                          

6-10 yrs:           4                          

11-15 yrs:         1

Over 15 yrs:      1                                             

 

Was the force used effective:

No:                   2

Yes:                  9

 

The location type where use of force occurred:

Yard or open exterior space:             5       

Building/structure interior:               3

Jail                                                3                

 

Were additional officers on the scene as backup, when force was deployed:

Yes:                  9                

No:                   2                

 

Officers deploying force by name (redacted) and number of incidents during the time period:


Officer A:       2 deployments of force, both with empty hands

Officer B:       2 successful ECD deployments

Officer C:       1 successful empty hands technique 

Officer D:       1 successful ECD deployment

Officer F:       1 successful ECD deployment after ineffective empty hand technique

Officer G:       1 ineffective ECD deployment due to distance/running

Officer H:       1 successful ECD deployment

Officer I:        1 successful ECD deployment

Sergeant J:     1 ineffective ECD deployment due to extremely
combative suspect            

         
Summary: All deployments of uses of force were found to be within policy and appropriately utilized and documented after review by supervisors and the Assistant Chief of Patrol Operations. Departmental policy authorizes several different methods of less lethal force, which may be utilized in times where it is required, as noted in General Order 2.000. These include OC spray, expandable batons, empty/soft hands techniques, TASERS (electronic control devices), and firearms. It appears from the data that electronic control devices continue to be the less lethal weapon of choice when less lethal force is appropriate.