TPD creates board to review officers' use of force - Tucson News Now

TPD creates board to review officers' use of force

Several civilians learned about the use of force for police officers (Source: Tucson News Now). Several civilians learned about the use of force for police officers (Source: Tucson News Now).
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Police Department is creating a special board consisting of sergeants, lieutenants and now six Tucson residents that will soon be in charge of reviewing cases in which officers had to use force out on the field while on duty.

"It allows the community to have some faith that their police department isn't simply just policing their own," said Sgt. James Wakefield, whose assigned to TPD's audit and best practices section.

Wakefield said this Force Review Board has been in the works for the past year. It's a board that has been used in other departments across the country, but new to Tucson.

"Tucson decided, 'Hey, we need to take proactive look at this and create some safeguards to make sure that our supervisors and our commanders are looking at what our officers are doing out there,'" Wakefield said.

The department allowed the six residents to see how officers use force on the streets at their training facilities Saturday, July 22.

"Built this so that the more serious cases are funneled to the board," Wakefield said. "We take a harder look at cases with serious injury like broken bones, loss of consciousness."

The board would also be able to make recommendations for policy and training changes.

"We want to proactively get better," Wakefield said. "We want to make our policing practices better to increase transparency and essentially be better partners with the community."

TPD used an independent police auditor to reach out to people around Tucson to fill in the civilian spots on the board.

Christina Rinnert is a law student at the University of Arizona an is one of the six civilian members of the board.

"I sort of have a love-hate relationship with cops to be honest," Rinnert said. "I see a lot of things that go wrong but I think we don't see enough of what goes right."

Rinnert hopes this board will improve the relationship between the community and the police department.

"The very first thing is to make the changes in the system that need to be made and to give the right kudos to what's being done properly," Rinnert said. "It's transparency for the police force but also just to help the citizens feel more comfortable with the police and what they're doing in our community."

MOBILE USERS: Download our app on your Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly