Police Practices Work Group

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Statement of Purpose

Following an assessment of current ACPD policies and practices by an outside group of policing experts, this County Manager appointed work group will review this outside assessment, and whether ACPD policies and practices diverge in material ways from best practices, and offer recommendations on these policies and practices to the County Manager. The County Manager appointed work group will also review related policy issues and offer recommendations to the County Manager. The County Manager will then forward those recommendations and his views to the County Board for action.

About the Work Group

Following recent events involving policing and racial justice across the United States, the County Board asked the County Manager to lead a review of police policies and practices. This review will ensure that the Arlington County Police Department is current with policing best practices and continue to build trust between our police and the community. This external assessment will begin on July 20, 2020 and be led by Marcia K. Thompson and Dr. Julie Shedd, two parties with expertise in departmental assessments, police practices, policy review, criminal justice reform and conflict analysis (see biographies below). The themes of this assessment will be shared with the newly formed 15-member Police Practices Group (PPG) early in the fall and will support the work of the group moving forward. The PPG will begin meeting in August 2020 and conclude their work no later than December 30, 2020.

News Release: Arlington Launches Review of Police Policies and Practices

More: Police Practices Group Scope and Topics

View Work Group Members

Subcommittee Areas of Focus

  • Civilian review board – what type and approach?
  • Role of the Police Department in providing mental health services
  • Role for the Police Department in traffic enforcement
  • Opportunity for alternative dispute resolution, including restorative justice and mediation

Subcommittee Recommendations

External Assessment (Conducted by External Consultant)

  • Review of use of Force: De-escalation tactics; lethal and non-lethal force; and, foot and vehicle pursuits.
  • Training and Supervision: Police Academy training; and training for implicit bias and crisis intervention.
  • Cameras: Both body-worn and vehicle dash cameras; and policies regarding use of this equipment.
  • Recruitment and Retention: Screening for bias; psychological evaluation; mental health programs; process for officer evaluation; promotion and leadership development programs; and compensation, including pay and benefits.
  • Internal Affairs: Statistics; structures and procedures; effectiveness through an anonymous climate survey; grievance processes; and use of force investigations.
  • Data/Statistics: Reviewing data collected for arrests and stops over the past 3 years and ensuring its consistency.

Issues Outside the Scope of the PPG

  • The role of School Resource Officers (SROs) in schools
  • Should there be qualified immunity for police officers?
  • What rules should guide privacy of data gathered by police, new technology, facial recognition, drones, etc.
  • Mutual aid agreements

Community Sessions with the Police Practices Work Group

On August 31st, the Police Practices Group (PPG) had their first of many virtual community conversations. Watch a recording of this kickoff community conversation.

Members of the community had an opportunity to provide insights and feedback to inform the PPG work plan and recommendations.

PPG Community Learning Series