SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Sacramento Police Department was forced to make changes by city leaders to toughen up the use-of-force policy after a string of incidents.
The release of officer-involved shooting videos this year was among some of the changes made to Sacramento’s police policy this past year.
“One of the biggest pieces here at the police department and for the city is being transparent,” said department spokesman Eddie Macaulay.
In November 2016, the city council ordered police to revise their use-of-force policies.
New changes came after community protests over the death of Joseph Mann and other controversial officer-involved shootings.
Other new policies include:
- not shooting at moving vehicles
- issuing a verbal warning before shooting
- and immediately performing first aid on a suspect who is shot
“One of the pieces that city council wanted was clear, less lethal options,” Macaulay said.
The department was ordered to equip officers with new non-lethal weapons like bean bag guns.
They also were directed to give every officer mental health training in de-escalating confrontations like this one last week.
“It’s a benefit not only to those that are currently experiencing mental health, but it gives our officer’s tools to deal with people in crisis,” Macaulay said.
Both of those efforts are in progress, but not yet complete.
Community members who called for the changes say it’s encouraging.
“It’s steps in the direction that it needs to go, but it still has a lot more work to be done,” said Ryan McClinton with Area Congregations Together.
He believes police should be held accountable for their actions.
“If there’s no measure for accountability and transparency for that matter, it will continue to happen or even worse it will continue to happen in the dark,” he said.
Now one year later, officers say most of the changes have been made.
The chief is expected to present the policies to the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday.