Killeen Police Announce Police Reform Agenda
In the wake of nationwide calls for police reform, including an "executive order" issued by President Trump, the Killeen Police Department announced today that they have plans to move forward with a police reform agenda which includes placing a "hold" on controversial no knock warrants.
According to KilleenPD News, the department says that they have reached out to the community and law enforcement members, and plan to address 6 areas of reform to improve the department in a police reform package:
- Use Of Force: KPD already has a "duty to intervene" policy which states any employee present and observing another employee using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances shall, when in a position to do so, safely intercede to prevent the use of excessive force. KPD announced it is strengthening that policy and officers will also be required to write a memorandum to the chief of police before the end of their duty day of the circumstances that required them to intervene and annotate what occurred in a supplemental police report. KPD also revised its "use of force policy" requiring that a supervisor respond to the scene, when practical, of a use of force incident and immediately conduct an investigation, which may include gathering evidence, locating witnesses and interviewing all parties involved.
- Choke Holds: KPD already has a "ban" on choke holds unless an officer's life is in danger and the department says that that policy will continue to include not participating in any training where such a hold is taught and will support any efforts to ban the choke hold in routine use of force application.
- Requesting Medical Treatment: While KPD already requires officers to render first aid to persons injured by use of force but the policy has been revised to include that if an arresting subject, communicates, “I can’t breathe” or some other exclamation that is preventing the flow of air, the officer or employee, when safe and practical, will immediately render first aid to assist the arrestee in the flow of air. When an arrestee communicates that he/she has trouble breathing, this will be treated as a medical situation.
- No Knock Warrants: KPD announced that they will be placing a temporary 90 day hold on no knock warrants but if deemed necessary the allowance of such warrants can only be made be the Chief of Police or the Assistant Chief of Police under certain circumstances.
- Accountability: KPD says it has identified flaws in its "Internal Affairs" system and is requesting funds from the city to update its out of date system it uses to identify officers through early intervention that have been involved in numerous incidents of misconduct and identify and recognize positive actions by officers and employees. The Chief of Police is also requesting the addition of two positions; a second Assistant Chief of Police position that is selected by the Chief of Police and a "training sergeant" tasked with bringing in more de-escalation training, identifying and dealing with people from other cultures, implicit bias training, and other alternatives to reduce use of force situations.
- Transparency: KPD admits that they haven't been totally "transparent" with the public when it comes to giving out information so the department announced plans to vigorously research, develop and plan to have an open portal or open database that can be accessed by the public.
Do you think these reforms are enough, or does KPD need to do more? Let us know your thoughts.