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Cops Must Report When They Draw Their Guns

Finally some good news.

Starting July 1st cops will have to write a report every time they draw their weapon. The police union is not happy about this claiming the paperwork will keep officers from doing their jobs and that officers will be endangered because they will hestitate before pulling their weapons.

KATU 2 News - Portland, Oregon

Portland's police chief to require more paperwork

April 20, 2004

PORTLAND, ORE. - Police Chief Derrick Foxworth will require Portland officers to write reports each time they point a gun at someone.
The rule takes effect July 1, but police union leaders are already opposed to the idea, saying the reports will inhibit police from using deadly force when necessary.

"Officers pretty routinely find themselves in perilous positions. Their response is predicated on circumstances created by the suspect. It's the suspect who initiates action, and the officer who responds," said Robert King, president of the Portland Police Association. "The part that is discouraging for officers is that having to complete a report like this disproportionately puts the burden on officers."

The requirement makes good on a recommendation offered last August by outside consultants who studied 3 1/2 years of Portland police shootings.

The chief's announcement comes as a Multnomah County grand jury Tuesday begins to examine the March 28 fatal shooting of an unarmed black motorist by a Portland police officer.

John Canda, executive director of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, supported the change as a member of the Community Police Organizational Review Team and praised the chief for listening to community concerns.

"We want the officers to know how weighty a situation that is to pull a gun on someone, and how the people who are not criminals feel after a traumatic incident like that," Canda said.

Assistant Chief Stan Grubbs, who oversaw a committee of police commanders that examined the planned change, said he was surprised to learn that many smaller police agencies in the Portland area have been documenting the pointing of guns for some time. He cited Hillsboro, Tigard and Beaverton police.

"You kind of sit back and go 'Wow.' Here are these jurisdictions with less officers and they've been doing this for years," Grubbs said. "This is not something we need to be afraid of. It's not designed to be used as a disciplinary tool against police. It's to give us a representation as to how we are using weapons."

Since 1997 the Oregon State Police has required its officers to notify a supervisor each time they point a gun at someone and write a report explaining the circumstances.

"This is one of the more serious things that we do, and so there needs to be some oversight," said Lt. Dale Rutledge, Oregon State Police spokesman.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
A report might look like this: 20.Apr.2004 10:07


April 10: Drew gun to scratch ass with muzzle.
April 11 Drew gun when approached by racially-disadvantaged individuals. False alarm.
April 12 Same as above
April 13 Same as above
April 14 Same as above
April 15 Drew gun to impress teenage daughters girlfriends.
April 16 Same as above

Keeping up with the times 20.Apr.2004 10:52


Almost every major police force has this requirement. This is not a radical idea at all.

It is good to see that finally the police chief is actually doing something.

Finally we will be able to know which officers pull their guns too often. Once we know that those officers can be retrained, receive psychological counseling or be removed from the force BEFORE they shoot someone who is unarmed and not dangerous.

Finally officers will be forced to have a legitimate reason to draw their guns.

This is a very promising step. Everyone is Portland will feel safer once this reporting requirement goes into effect.