Data shows Vallejo PD’s use of force is higher than other agencies

Bay Area

VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) — Vallejo police is one of several agencies under scrutiny for its use of force.  Now, the department is collecting data and sharing some of it online with the public.

“Our system is designed to give Vallejo PD the tools they identify high-risk incident, high-risk officers and evaluate their policies and training,” Police Strategies CEO Bob Scales said.

Bob Scales with Police Strategies says the data looks at the use of force over a three-year period beginning in January of 2017. 

Among the findings, 6.7% of the time Vallejo police arrests involve a use of force. That is higher than the average which is 3.8% for 88 agencies using the system, but scales says they also found something else.

“Their officers take longer to control a suspect once they use force than other agencies, either due to subjecting more difficult to control or officers are not using their tactics as effectively as they could or both,” Scales said.

The data also finds over the last three years, one officer used force 30 times and eight officers used force between 20 and 25 times each.

“That’s a red flag,” John Burris said.

Civil rights attorney John Burris is involved in several cases against the Vallejo Police Department.  He says getting this type of data is important for departments but the work doesn’t stop there. They will have to drill down and find out if they have a problem and correct it.

“That’s what data is supposed to do,” Burris said. “It’s an early warning system and give you some indication whether that person is performing in a constitutional way if they are on the edge and if so why is that and who is supervising them?”

Vallejo’s police chief says this is just another tool to move the force towards the philosophy of 21st century policing.

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