Use Of Force

Chief’s Message Regarding Police Use Of Force


Everett Community Members,

I want to share an important message about the Everett Police Department’s use of force policies, training and culture. As I mentioned during my recent community statement on our department’s Facebook page, I am committed to ongoing dialogue with our community on this topic, and that includes being transparent regarding how and when we use force during the course of our duties.

Everett Police officers have thousands of contacts every year with members of the community. In 2019, for example, there were over 143,000 police incidents. (If you are interested in reviewing some of our response data, please see our Safe Community open data portal.) Each one of those interactions is an opportunity for us to develop relationships with our community. Nearly all of them were positive and only a small fraction of those contacts involved police use of force.

There are times, however, when our officers are required to use force during the lawful performance of their job. This includes when making arrests or protecting others from violence or threats of violence. We know the community entrusts us with this legal authority, and we don’t take it lightly. With that in mind, our department utilizes a multi-layered examination of use of force incidents. Under this process, every supervisor of the officer’s chain of command (up through the Deputy Chief) review each qualifying incident to ensure the officer’s actions meet legal, training, policy/procedure and best practice standards. This review process is another opportunity for our supervisors to ensure employees are attempting to de-escalate situations before they rise to the level where force needs to be used.

The Everett Police Department is accredited through the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. This process reviews over 130 standards and ensures our department is utilizing industry best practices in all areas of law enforcement, to include specific use of force requirements. Despite all of these practices, we continue to find ways to improve and reform our policies. Through the established Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board, City of Everett Diversity Board or during listening sessions with members of communities that are affected by police actions, I am always looking for opportunities to look within and make changes that will better serve the community. 

I encourage you to review the Questions & Answers below for information on our use of force policies, or you can review our entire police department policy manual.

Respectfully,

Chief Dan Templeman
Everett Chief of Police

Use of Force Questions & Answers:

  1. Does the Everett Police Department allow officers to use chokeholds or strangleholds?
  2. Does the Everett Police Department require de-escalation of police encounters, before using force?
  3. Does the Everett Police Department require verbal warnings, when possible, before using deadly force?
  4. Does the Everett Police Department require officers to exhaust all other force alternatives before resorting to deadly force?
  5. Does the Everett Police Department require officers to intervene to stop another officer from using excessive force?
  6. Does the Everett Police Department ban shooting at moving vehicles?
  7. Does the Everett Police Department require a use of force continuum?
  8. Does the Everett Police Department require comprehensive reporting to include both uses of force and threats of force?
  9. Does the Everett Police Department have a policy on what to do if someone that is being arrested says they can’t breathe?

Statement on the department’s use of force from Chief Templeman

[Originally posted to the Everett Police Department’s Facebook page on May 29th.]

Like many of you, I am deeply saddened by the video of George Floyd’s in-custody death in Minneapolis. While I realize that the investigation is still in its early stages and more will be learned in the days ahead, I am troubled by what I saw, to include what appears to be cover officers standing by and not taking any action. Even though this event took place over a thousand miles away, the impacts and concerns can be felt right here at home. I recently shared a message with the officers of the Everett Police Department. In it, I stressed the significant role law enforcement plays in our community and the importance of building and maintaining the public’s trust. Public trust is earned through fair and impartial policing, transparency, accountability and community partnerships, all core principles deeply ingrained into the culture of the Everett Police Department. It is only through this trust that we can achieve the legitimacy to effectively police and serve our communities.

Daily, Everett police officers are reminded of the importance of our organizational values and our core principles that include:

  • Our commitment to the highest standards of trust, responsibility and discipline
  • Promoting justice in a fair and impartial manner
  • Always making the right decisions for the right reasons
  • Embracing the privilege of serving our community
  • Leading by example through our commitment to duty and accountability

As an agency, we reject complacency and maintain our dedication to pursuing the highest levels of knowledge, skill and expertise. To that end, Everett police officers are some of the most highly trained officers in the State of Washington, which includes:

  • Collectively attending more than 33,000 hours of training in 2019
  • Every officer in Everett from the Chief down has received 40-hours of Crisis Intervention Team/De-escalation training, well in excess of the state mandated 8-hour requirement
  • Everett officers receiving regular training on biased based policing, implicit bias, use of force, procedural justice and the duty to render first aid
  • Scenario-based training that includes regular qualifications on our firearm simulator, where we test our officers decision making ability through a series of force/no-force scenarios

Events like those in Minneapolis force us to look at our profession and how we interact with our communities through a different lens. It also forces us to engage in dialogue with our community that can be difficult and sometimes uncomfortable. But the truth of the matter is that it shouldn’t take an event like the in-custody death of George Floyd to spur these conversations. These are issues that are important to our community and to our officers and are worthy of ongoing dialogue. I want to reassure the Everett community that as Police Chief I am committed to maintaining a police department that continually fosters trust, transparency and accountability, both internally and externally, and that always strives to provide the highest level of public safety services to our residents.

Departmental Use of Force Documents