The US Senate began hearings this week on police use of force reforms, following the signing of a new executive order on law enforcement standards.
President Donald Trump’s new order encourages departments to collect and track excessive force complaints, provides incentives for updating training certifications, and aims to embed mental health professionals with officers.
It would also ban the use of chokeholds except in the most extreme cases.
Redmond Police Cpt. Devin Lewis says his department already does much of what’s in the order.
And, he doesn’t believe a near ban on chokeholds will change RPD policy.
“We don’t use choke or strangleholds. But, if we were going to use a carotid hold, that again, is only to be used in a lethal force situation or a deadly force situation; which, of course, that’s if there’s a reasonable belief – that the officer believes there’s an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to themselves or the public.”
Lewis says every department wants its officers to be the best.
“Like in any profession, there’s a few bad ones out there,” he said. “No profession is perfect and we want to hold those people accountable and that’s our goal.”
State lawmakers will discuss possible police reforms in a special legislative session, beginning in Salem next Wednesday.