The New York police department will usher in a new era of increased use of force documentation early next year. Beginning at that time, nearly every incident where an officer uses force, inclusive of hand blows, baton strikes, and other less aggressive methods, will be recorded and the data tracked.
A significant difference in the new policy relative to the current policies in place centers on the requirement to track and document when force is applied even if the encounter does not result in an arrest.
William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the NYPD, hailed the transparency of the new policies. "What we’re developing here could become the national template for how do you not only investigate all levels of use of force, but how do you report it in a way that it is transparent," Bratton said.
He continued, “With transparency comes public understanding and with public understanding comes public support.”
The new policies coincide with the issuance of nearly 900 tasers to patrol officers throughout New York. Until now, only specific tactical units had carried the devices.