A consultant’s review of the Vancouver Police Department’s use-of-force policies has identified dozens of recommendations to reshape the department’s culture, including 10 changes that should be implemented immediately.
The Police Executive Research Forum — a nonprofit, national law enforcement membership organization — entered into a contract Aug. 1 with the city to conduct the review.
The city ordered the independent assessment following four Vancouver police shootings, three of which were fatal, last year. The study found that those shootings occurred during a three-year period in which the number of use-of-force incidents by Vancouver police increased by 65 percent.
Community tensions ran high following the shootings, which occurred between Feb. 5, 2019, and March 7, 2019. Two of the fatalities involved people of color and the third involved a homeless man previously diagnosed with schizophrenia. The shootings prompted rallies and gatherings demanding changes and an online petition calling for police body-worn cameras.
The nonprofit was tasked with examining the police department’s policies, training, documentation methods, and data on use-of-force and officer-involved-shooting incidents. On Friday, the police department announced the review was finished and available to the public.