No review of VPD use-of-force policies planned

first_imgDespite a spate of officer-involved shootings over the last month, Vancouver’s police chief says he’s confident the department’s policies are in line with statewide public safety standards and that his officers are following best practices.Since Feb. 5, the Vancouver Police Department has been involved in four officer-involved shootings — three of them fatal. The recent shootings appear to be the most in one year for the police agency over the last 25 years, a Columbian analysis found.“I think, for a department of our size, it is a little unusual to have so many back-to-back. I think it is outside the norm,” Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain said in a phone interview Wednesday. “What my experience has told me is, really the only consistency I see, is the behavior of the citizen involved has (caused) this incident to occur. It’s not usual for officers to need to use lethal force when people are cooperative.”A Columbian analysis of local law enforcement policies on use of force, specifically lethal force, found that the Vancouver Police Department’s policies largely mirror those of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Camas and Battle Ground police departments.In a nutshell, all of the policies say deadly force is necessary when officers need to protect themselves or others from threat of death or serious injury. Deadly force is also permissible to prevent the escape of a fleeing violent felon when there’s probable cause to believe the felon has threatened serious harm or death, or if they are not apprehended poses the threat of harm to officers or others.last_img

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