Back in 2020, we received inquiries from some in the Elk Grove community about our police department's policies and how they may or may not be congruent with objectives of some advocacy groups. We have examined our policies and wanted to share how our policies compare to those desired objectives:
Ban chokeholds and strangleholdsThese techniques are not permitted in ourpolicies. Effective June 8, 2020 the Elk Grove Police Department issued an Administrative Directive to immediately prohibit the use of the carotid control hold. The Elk Grove Police Department's Use of Force Policy is being updated to reflect this prohibition.
Require de-escalationDe-escalation is interwoven into the department's operations and is included in the department'spolicies. De-escalation is included within our continued professional training curriculum as well. SB 230 requires that "officers utilize de-escalation techniques, crisis intervention tactics, and other alternatives to force when feasible." SB 230 also mandates each policy require officers to conduct all duties in a manner that is fair and unbiased. Additionally, SB 230 requires all officers be trained in alternatives to deadly force and de-escalation techniques.
Require warning before shootingOur policy, along with AB 392, states the officer, where feasible, will identify themselves and warn deadly force may be used. This requirement is consistent with federal case law.
Exhaust all other means before shootingOur policy requires officers evaluate the use of other reasonably available resources and techniques when determining whether to use deadly force, and deadly force is only used when there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the officer or another person.
Duty to intervene and stop excessive force by other officersOur policy mandates a duty to intercede if any officer observes another officer using force that is unreasonable. SB 230 sets forth a "requirement that an officer intercede when present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is necessary, as determined by an objectively reasonable officer under the circumstances." This provision is consistent with federal law as well.
Ban shooting at moving vehiclesOur policy states officers should move out of the path of an approaching vehicle instead of discharging their firearm at the vehicle or any of its occupants. An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others
Require use-of-force continuumLaw enforcement agencies vary whether they incorporate a use-of-force continuum. Continuum'sdo notrequire officers start with one level of force before moving to another. Our policies take the use of force a step further requiring officers to useonlythat amount of force that reasonably appears necessary given the facts and totality of the circumstances.
Require comprehensive reporting each time an officer uses forces or threatens to do soWe have a rigorous process for each use of force incident which includes a detailed review. Every use of force is reviewed at multiple levels within the organization, including a final review by the Chief of Police. That review is in place to determine whether that force is within policy, reasonable, and whether that use of force requires additional training. All law enforcement actions are documented, to include uses of force and threats of force. The department provides data regarding all officer-involved shootings and incidents involving use of force resulting in serious bodily injury to the California Department of Justice.
We recognize and respect the sanctity of human life
We hear you, and we know there may continue to be questions about what our policies are, which is why we have this page now dedicated to covering these topics in further detail.
You can view our policies that we feel meet these guidelines and that strongly align with every intent of ensuring that all members of our community remain safe.
We look forward to having further dialog on this, and we will continue to work to move forward with intention with our community. The Chief's Community Advisory Board, which is comprised of a diverse cross-section of active community members throughout the City of Elk Grove, is a resource for the Chief in the formation of strategies, development of community policing concepts and increasing public awareness. The board is intended to provide a forum for discussions concerning community concerns and the goal is to have a broad spectrum of viewpoints represented.
We have partnered with other agencies and non-profits for prevention and improved outcomes, including:
Crisis Intervention Response Teams-We have two teams that include a specially trained officer and Sacramento County mental health counselor who respond to calls involving a mental health crisis. A Peer Navigator follows up for navigating support services. The Crisis Intervention Response Teams triage incoming calls and responds to evaluate the possible causes of the disturbance and assesses mental health needs with the goal of addressing the crisis in the community.
School Resource Officers, which is in partnership with the Elk Grove Unified School District to assign three officers to district to promote school safety, mentorship, and guidance.
Crisis Negotiations Team, a highly trained unit to resolve critical incidents without police use of force.
Partnered with WEAVE and Child Protective Services to have social workers assigned to our Family Services Bureau.
Partnered with the Fly Brave Foundation and Visions in Motion Adult Day Program to assist personnel with communication skills and a better understanding of individuals with developmental disabilities.
The Elk Grove Police Department hires individuals are committed to serving and we want those who come to serve our community to uphold the standards and expectations not just of us, but of our community. We also believe in having a department that is diverse and reflective of those who call Elk Grove home.
According to the 2021 American Community Survey estimates, the breakdown for the City of Elk Grove is as follows:
- White: 43%
- Black: 11%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: less than 1%
- Asian: 29%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 2%
- Hispanic or Latino: 19%
- Two or more races: 10%
Definitions for each race category from the US Census Bureau.
At the Elk Grove Police Department, our breakdown for employees is as follows:
We invest heavily in training and keep well above the minimum California Peace Officer Standard and Training (POST)requirements. Our officers train on topics such as the appropriate use of tools and tactics, legal updates, and a variety of other skills, including Principled Policing/ Biased Based Policing, racial profiling, implicit bias training, de-escalation efforts, and more. Our Training Committee, which consists of internal training instructors, continuously evaluates our tools, tactics, and training to ensure that they remain in line with national best practices. In every interaction we have on a call for service, the safety of all involved parties is our top priority.