The New York City Police Department’s Commissioner, William Brotton, announced on Thursday that the NYPD will enforce a policy that requires its officers to report most instances of force used on civilians.    

 

Before this policy was announced, the NYPD had very few guidelines for reporting and tracking their officers’ use of force. The NYPD was forced to implement the policy after New York Police Inspector General Philip Eure released a report exposing the department’s lacking procedure when dealing with excessive force. In 2016, officers will have to fill out standardized forms anytime they use force. It comes as a surprise to many that this procedure wasn’t already in place; Inspector Eure stated that before this policy, the “NYPD was living a little bit in the dark ages.”      

 

“Clearly, when you look at what other police departments are doing, including the Los Angeles Police Department, the Seattle Police Department, they have modern, state-of-the-art use-of-force policies,” said Eule.

 

NYPD training class

The NYPD only spends 9 of 500 police training hours on how to use force on the job. (Yahoo! News)

There are a variety of factors that could be sparking the trend of more officers using force, but one of the most likely contributors to the issue is insufficient training for how to properly assert dominance through force without it going over the line.The inspector’s report found that out of about 500 hours of police academy courses, only nine hours are spent training officers on topics of using force on the job. It’s much more difficult to reduce instances of excessive force used by officers when the police academy is undertraining them on the subject.

 

Adding this policy is a step in the right direction, but more may need to be done to drastically reduce the rate of excessive force used by some NYPD officers. New York Civil Liberties Union’s executive director, Donna Lieberman, welcomes the NYPD’s new policy but thinks it could be difficult to enforce at times.  

 

“There are definite concerns about relying on self-reporting, but we have yet to come up with a more objective way to find out what’s going on,” said Lieberman.         

 

The NYPD has to send a formal response to Eule’s report within the next 90 days, so more may be done to combat the exposed issues in the near future.  

 

Will this new policy be enough to reduce force used by NYPD officers? How much training should officers have to go through on topics of using force? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.