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--Mayor Martin Horwitz

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Jul 23

New Police Policy Manual

Posted on July 23, 2021 at 3:20 PM by Mayor Martin S. Horwitz

Visit our Police Manual Core Policies page

Last summer, our country saw a nationwide call for police reform. I believe that reviewing policies and implementing nationally adopted programs is prudent. 

Police serve a vital role in our society. They come when we call them for help and they put their lives between us and danger. They do a job that many of us cannot imagine doing, with a common goal of making our city safe for everyone. In Beachwood's police history, we have had very few use-of-force or use of deadly force incidents. We also frequently receive letters, calls and emails from residents, visitors and businesses reporting instances where BPD officers displayed great bravery and performed above and beyond their responsibilities. 

My direction to our new police chief was that it was a priority of this city to have the most current policy manual and training program to address the issues of police reform. The first issue had to be a policy manual that reflected the best policing practices and standards as recommended by national organizations.  

One of the Chief’s first recommendations was to adopt the policy manual developed by Lexipol. This is the industry leader in policy, serving over 2-million safety professionals. With a staff of over 300 employees, they routinely monitor state and federal court cases and changes in laws that directly impact on police procedures. Their policies reflect those recommended by CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and others. Our department has now completed a lengthy review of our old manual and the new Lexipol manual, adding changes appropriate to our city, and it has been adopted as of July 5. The core policies have been posted to our website.

I would also like to mention that in addition to regular training and review of core policies, Chief Stillman has now established a requirement that all officers must be certified in crisis intervention. This 40-hour program must be completed by December, with regular reviews required every year thereafter.

I’d like to finish by reviewing the primary reform issues that make up the bulk of the discussions locally and across the country.

  • Chokehold restrictions and vascular neck restrictions (303.3.4)
  • Duty to intervene (300.2.1)
  •  Use of unreasonable force (300.3)
  • De-escalation techniques (300.3.1)
  • Use of deadly force (300.4)
  • Rendering medical aid following police actions (300.6)
  • Exhaust all other means before shooting (300.3.3 (i))
  • Ban shooting at moving vehicles (300.4.1)
  • Bias-based policing (401)

The clarification of these policies on use of force, bias-based policing, additional training to re-enforce core policies, and the mandate that every officer is trained in crisis intervention will all further reduce the odds of any future egregious behavior. There are many other programs we can review to improve the efficiency of our police department and community/police relations. With the support of Council, we will continue to explore these options.