The City of Carlsbad Police Department, already named the top rated police department in California for preventing excessive use of force, has put in place all eight policies recommended by the Campaign Zero's Eight Can’t Wait campaign. The campaign is part of a national movement to the prevent excessive use of force by police.
According to Campaign Zero, these eight policies can decrease police violence by 72%.
Effective June 3, 2020, the Carlsbad Police Department no longer authorizes the use of the carotid control hold.
Carlsbad Police Department policy expressly requires officers to employ de-escalation techniques when dealing with those in crisis. This includes significant training in emotional intelligence, de-escalation and crisis intervention.
Require warning before shooting.
Carlsbad Police Department policy expressly requires officers to provide verbal warnings when reasonably feasible prior to the use of any deadly force (including shooting). Verbal warnings must also be provided prior to the use of force against a person involved in an unlawful assembly.
Exhaust all other means before shooting.
Carlsbad Police Department policy only permits the use of any deadly force when 1) an officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to protect the officer or another from a threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury, or 2) to stop a fleeing subject when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed, or intends to commit, a felony involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious bodily injury or death, and the officer reasonably believes that there is an imminent risk of serious bodily injury or death to any other person if the subject is not immediately apprehended. Under such circumstances, a verbal warning should precede the use of deadly force, where feasible.
Department shall require officers to intervene in the event of excessive force.
Carlsbad Police Department policy expressly requires officers to intervene and stop excessive force if they observe it occurring. Policy also requires every officer to report any excessive force to a supervisor.
Ban shooting at vehicles.
Carlsbad Police Department policy expressly prohibits shooting at vehicles except in extreme circumstances. Officers are required to move out of the path of an approaching vehicle instead of discharging their firearm at the vehicle or any of its occupants. Officers may only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others, such as if the occupants of the vehicle were shooting at the officer or another person. Officers are expressly prohibited from shooting at any part of a vehicle in an attempt to disable the vehicle.
Require use of force continuum.
Carlsbad Police Department policy expressly provides that officers shall use only that amount of force that reasonably appears necessary given the facts and circumstances perceived by the officer at the time of the event, and only to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose. This policy provides that officers may only escalate the use of force if that escalation is reasonable in light of the officers’ perceptions of the continuum of risk presented to an officer or someone the officer is protecting.
Require comprehensive reporting of use of force incidents.
Carlsbad Police Department policy requires that all uses of force be reported promptly, accurately and completely.
In addition to general de-escalation training, the Carlsbad Police Department has been recognized as a leader in de-escalation and crisis management. Thirteen officers have been specially trained as crisis/hostage negotiators who may be deployed as needed to resolve incidents peacefully. The Police Department also has seven specially trained tactical communications instructors who provide state approved communication training to all officers.
Campaign Zero previously gave the City of Carlsbad Police Department the highest ranking among the 100 largest police departments in California.