Once elected, I will form a Use of Force Review Board, specifically to examine force issues where there is a serious injury to a citizen or deputy. The goal will be to examine the incident to see if the injuries were avoidable, either through a change in tactics (including de-escalation), whether additional training for the deputy, or a change in training at the Criminal Justice Training Center is needed.
No review such as this is currently conducted in the Sheriff’s Office. For example the incident like the one where Christopher Harris suffered critical, life-changing injuries which cost the taxpayers over $10 million, was not reviewed. How did this tragedy happen? Where was the organizational introspection? How do we lessen the chance this will happen again?
These questions were never asked, much less answered. And they should have been.
In fact, even the most rudimentary supervisor review of the use of force was not completed until almost a year after the incident.
Make no mistake. Use of force is unavoidable in police work. But there are questions we should be asking. Could we have done something else? Could we have deescalated? Was the amount of force appropriate? These critical questions are not being asked within the Sheriff’s Office in a systematic way.