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Phoenix police to implement policy tracking when an officer points a gun at someone

Phoenix Police
Posted at 7:36 AM, Aug 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-02 20:19:38-04

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department will soon implement new procedures to track when an officer points a gun at someone.

The policy is a recommendation from the Community Police Trust Initiative, and is the number-one recommendation by the National Police Foundation following their 2018 study of Phoenix Police Department's officer-involved shootings, according to a media release.

Phoenix police say the policy will “track when Phoenix police point their weapon in the direction of a person.”

The department says it will provide a “quantifiable measure of how often officers successfully de-escalate a situation with the potential for lethal force to be used. Officers will document any time they point their service weapon at a person during their shift, to include non-criminal encounters.”

After pointing a firearm at a person, a Phoenix officer will be required to generate a police incident report, check a box on the report, and inform a supervisor, according to Sgt. Vince Lewis, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Chief Jeri Williams had been scheduled to formally announce the implementation of the plan on Monday, August 5, but that event has now been postponed.

Mandatory training for officers will begin as scheduled Monday. The policy will go into effect on August 19.

Several Arizona law enforcement agencies already have similar gun reporting requirements. Those agencies include the Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Surprise, and Scottsdale police departments and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Phoenix officers fired shots in 44 incidents in 2018 -- more than any other police department in the nation and the most ever recorded by Phoenix officers.

Chief Jeri Williams requested, and the city council approved, $150,000 for the review when the number of police shootings during the first six months of 2018 exceeded the total number of such incidents in each of the previous three years.

RELATED: Phoenix PD releases officer-involved shootings dataset