Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole sent a message to all employees Friday evening intended to address any misunderstanding or confusion regarding the department’s use-of-force policy.
O’Toole wrote in the message that she expects “officers to take appropriate actions and not use the force policy as an excuse and that she is not aware of any injury that has resulted from an officer hesitating to use force under the department’s current policy.
“The use of force policy is not written in stone,” O’Toole wrote. “As experience is gained, it may become necessary to change or clarify certain procedures or provisions.”
The distributed email also includes a directive clarifying reporting requirements for Type I force, which is defined as force that causes transient pain or disorientation.
The use-of-force policy went into effect Jan. 1.
The message was posted on the SPD Blotter.