Seattle police agree to new use-of-force policy

SEATTLE -- A U.S. District Court judge accepted a new use-of-force policy between the Department of Justice and Seattle police in an effort to bring court-mandated reforms to the department.

The new use-of-force policy changes the way officers use and report force, according to the DOJ.

spd3The new regulations were submitted to U.S. District Judge James L. Robart. The 70-page policy requires all but minimal force be reported, and replaces the previous 5-page policy currently in place at the SPD.

The new policy requires that officers be armed with one less-than-lethal tools and the building of a new Force Investigation Team, to be implemented whenever officers use force. The DOJ found that SPD officers were too quick to use force and used too much when they did.

DOJ officials called the new force policies further proof that the SPD is trying to improve the ways of a previously beleaguered and belligerent department.

"This policy will help ensure that the people of Seattle have a police department that respects the Constitution, secures the safety of the public and earns the confidence of the community," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels.

The new policy will receive input from the Community Police Commission before it is slated to go into effect.