warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

Minneapolis touts new force policy

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Mayor Betsy Hodges touted the police department’s new use-of-force policy at a press conference Monday.
There is much to admire about the new policy, particularly its mission of preservation of “the sanctity of life.” It isn’t black lives matter, or blue lives matter, or white lives matter, it’s the sanctity of all life. That’s a principle that we all need to adopt, regardless of our ethnicity, race, profession or social stances.
The policy calls for much more: training in de-escalation techniques, a duty to intervene when one officer sees another using force inappropriately and a duty to report such incidences.
Apparently, all of those things were encouraged in the past, but never part of a formal policy. Now, they are. The policy draws clear lines about how officers should respond to potentially explosive situations.
Harteau and Hodges hope the new policy will help build bridges between officers and their constituents, particularly those constituents who are members of diverse communities.
“We cannot have public safety with out public trust,” Harteau said.
That is all well and good, but some were quick to point out that nowhere in the press conference were the consequences of how officers will be punished if they violate the policy.
Those critics need to remember that this is a policy, and policies are guidelines, rather than strict rules.
As anyone who has dealt with a potentially hostile situation knows — be it police officers, emergency medical personnel or other first responders — things can go bad in a heartbeat, and people will react in a heartbeat, and sometimes not in the best possible way.
And also remember that the policy applies to police officers, not to criminals, or those whose behavior may be impacted by mental illness or the influence of drugs or medications.
The new policy, the new training requirements, and the new use of body cameras are all helpful, but we need to keep in mind that no policy will be applicable in each and every situation. And not every situation is going to turn out well.
We hope to see a dramatic decrease in the number of incidents in which excessive force is used, but, realistically, we have to be prepared that those events will still occur, despite our best efforts.