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2016 Use of Force Report Los Angeles: A Los Angeles police officer never comes to work hoping to become involved in a use of force but, unfortunately, on rare occasions, it happens. And when it does happen, the LAPD critically examines every aspect of the incident to make sure that our officers use force only when necessary and consistent with the Department’s deeply held values of preserving life and protecting the communities we serve.
Last year, the LAPD released its first-ever comprehensive Use of Force Report which contained an unprecedented amount of information, context and analysis regarding uses of force by Los Angeles Police officers during 2015. The report was widely distributed and held up by many as a model for increased transparency and accountability in policing.
Today, we are presenting our 2016 Use of Force Report which will provide even greater depth and analysis of the uses of force that occurred last year. The report also describes the many ongoing efforts to further enhance our training, improve our analysis of use of force incidents, and changes in operational procedures to reduce the necessity to use force in both deadly and non-deadly encounters.
For example, we enhanced our tactical de-escalation training and directives, expanded our mental health intervention training, and continued our scenario-based training on decision-making and tactics for deadly force and non-deadly encounters. In addition, we increased deployment of less-lethal options such as additional TASER’s, 40 mm launchers, and bean bag shotguns that are easier to access in the front passenger area.
Although it is too early to draw any conclusions from the effectiveness of our new efforts, the Department did experience a significant decline of 17% in officer-involved shooting incidents, a 52% reduction in rounds fired per officer, while facing an 18% increase in suspects possessing firearms during officer involved shooting incidents.
As you will see in the Report there is a significant amount of information regarding the uses of force by LAPD officers who face daunting challenges in policing the second largest city in America. It is important to note, however, that a use of force, especially deadly force, is exceedingly rare.
Last year, LAPD officers had more than 1.5 million contacts with members of the public, responded to 937,024 requests for police service, and made more than 100,000 arrests. In only 2,011, or .13%, of those public contacts did an officer have to use any level of force, and in 40 instances, or .003%, did an officer use deadly force. This very low ratio of uses of force to contacts is all the more important given the use and prevalence of firearms in the streets of Los
Angeles, the level of violent crime in some parts of the City, and the number of dangerous and volatile encounters that officers face every day.
Despite the low levels of force when compared to the number of contacts, arrests, and calls for service, every use of force is an incident that requires scrutiny and analysis to ensure accountability and identify opportunities to reduce the necessity of force in the future. This 409-page report is part of our effort to examine when force was used, what were the circumstances, and how we can continue improving our efforts to protect and to serve the community of Los Angeles.
2016 Use of Force Report