Use of Force Policy

To Waukee residents, visitors and business partners:

waukee police badgeThe May 2020 tragedy involving George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, and several other high-profile incidents have resulted in the initiation of some much needed conversations about law enforcement in the U.S. These discussions are long overdue and are sometimes difficult to work through. The Waukee Police Department welcomes open, respectful dialogue with everyone we serve. Our department is committed to education before enforcement whenever possible. Officers are also dedicated to ensuring every person is treated with acceptance, compassion and professionalism.

As part of recent discussions, many law enforcement leaders have fielded questions about an initiative entitled “8 Can’t Wait”. If you are not familiar with 8 Can’t Wait, read more here. The Waukee Police Department’s Use of Force policy aligns closely with the eight virtues of 8 Can’t Wait. Please see below for some of the guidelines to which the department adheres.

Thank you,
Waukee Police Chief John Quinn

Ban chokeholds & strangleholds Require de-escalation, warning before shooting, exhaust alternatives

Where the Waukee Police Department Stands

Ban Chokeholds & Strangleholds
The Waukee Police Department’s Use of Force policy prohibits the use of choke and strangle holds. The use of these holds is considered deadly force. Our officers are only permitted to use such techniques in situations where an imminent danger of death or serious injury to the officer and/or a member of the public exists. These restraints are not part of our defensive tactics training. Read more.

Require De-escalation
De-escalation is an integral part of our Use of Force policy.  Officers are trained annually on de-escalation techniques during their defensive tactics training, less than lethal weapons training, and firearms training. Read more.

Require a Warning Before Shooting
The Waukee Police Department’s Use of Force policy requires a verbal warning for all uses of force - except when such a warning would compromise the safety of the officers or others. Read more

Exhaust All Other Means Before Shooting
Iowa Code and our policies require officers to use reasonable force.  We require officers to take steps to gain compliance and de-escalate conflict without using any physical force.  Officers shall use advisements, warnings, verbal persuasion, and other tactics to reduce the need to use force.  Officers also consider whether a lack of compliance is deliberate or due to an inability to comply, and officers are required to exhaust all other options before using any force, including firing a weapon. Read more.

Duty to Intervene
Our Use of Force policy mandates that all Waukee Police Department Officers who observe excessive use of force are mandated to intervene on the subject’s behalf. Read more.

Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
Our policy prohibits officers shooting at a moving vehicle unless the occupants of the vehicle are using deadly force against a member of the public or the officer. Read more.

Require a Use of Force Continuum
The Waukee Police Department’s Use of Force policy requires officers to work through a force continuum based on the least amount of force necessary to resolve the situation. Read more.

Require Comprehensive Reporting Each Time an Officer Uses Force or Threatens to Do So
Waukee officers are required to complete a separate Use of Force report form for every use of force, including less lethal uses of force.  Each Use of Force report is reviewed by a Sergeant, Patrol Commander, and Chief of Police. Read more.