CARLSBAD — Another voice has emerged regarding the city’s police policies, especially regarding the use of force and de-escalation practices.
On July 10, Councilwoman Cori Schumacher released a statement calling for the council to initiate a review of “select” policies as a result of the rising calls for cities to enact changes stemming from the Black Lives Matter movement.
In early June, the Carlsbad Police Department announced it will no longer practice carotid control holds, known as a chokehold, along with adopting the Eight Can’t Wait campaign practices. According to Campaign Zero, these eight policies can decrease police violence by 72%.
However, Schumacher said the council has not reviewed these policies and is expecting to do so in either late August or early September.
“This is an opportunity for honest review, open dialogue and any updates if needed,” Schumacher’s statement reads. “I am confident that we will find ways to serve our community even better through this process and that Carlsbad will remain at the forefront of fair and just policing that keeps our community safe.”
After the three-day protest in Carlsbad in early June, the organizers started reaching out to the council to discuss police policies, along with the master and growth management plans. Mayor Matt Hall passed a motion to hold public workshops regarding police practices.
The council approved the workshop during its June 23 regarding the CPD and will include information on a citizen’s review committee on police practices, use of force, officers’ rights under police officer’s bill of rights and any other procedures, Hall said.
Schumacher’s action, though, also is calling to review the Homeless Response Plan, which was moved from the Housing and Neighborhood Services Department to the police. Also, her statement is requesting to review the municipal code allowing a sitting mayor or councilmember to serve as a reserve police officer.
Schumacher’s statement also applauds the CPD performance over the past four years according to Campaign Zero’s police scorecard, which ranks the department in the top three. In 2016-17, the CPD was ranked No. 1.
“I think it’s very specific and we should I have very specific police reforms in place,” Schumacher said. “It’s the difference between really initiating a workshop, which has some complications when it comes to just being informational versus action-oriented.”
In addition to chokeholds, the new policies also require de-escalation tactics, warning before shooting, exhausting all other means before shooting, banning shooting at vehicles, use of force continuum, reporting all use of force incidents and requiring officers to intervene in use of force incidents.
For de-escalation, it includes significant training in emotional intelligence, de-escalation and crisis intervention. CPD policy also requires officers to provide verbal warnings when reasonably feasible before the use of any deadly force. Verbal warnings must also be provided prior to the use of force against a person involved in an unlawful assembly.