Greensboro Police Department Policy Changes
In response to numerous inquiries concerning the policies of the Greensboro Police Department as they relate to a variety of matters following the death of George Floyd while he was in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, GPD wants to assure the members of this community that GPD is always willing to listen to and engage in productive dialog about how to make its policies more comprehensive. Likewise, GPD strives to ensure its policies and practices serve all of its citizens equally.
As it relates to the policies that are at the forefront of community concerns, GPD has taken a look at its own policies, and can report the following as it relates to current policies as well as changes the GPD has incorporated in response to those community concerns:
- GPD does not teach or train its officers to use “chokeholds” or “strangleholds”, and discourages any restraint or use of force which restricts breathing absent extreme circumstances.This morning GPD modified its policy to strictly prohibit these restraint methods absent the need to use deadly force.
- Greensboro police officers are trained in and have long been encouraged to employ de-escalation techniques whenever available. GPD has always encouraged officers to use verbal conversation and other de-escalation techniques before resorting to force, and to use the least amount of force required. This morning GPD modified its policy to specifically state that officers will utilize “the minimal amount of force necessary” to stop resistance and effect an arrest.
- This morning, GPD modified its policy to specifically require that any time an officer witnesses an excessive use of force, they have a duty to intervene verbally and/or physically to interrupt the act, and they must notify their supervisor so that the appropriate administrative and/or criminal investigation can begin. In addition, all Greensboro police officers are required to self-report any use of force, and each use of force is investigated administratively and, where necessary, by way of a criminal investigation.
- In February of this year, GPD modified its policy to provide that “officers will not fire any weapon from or at a moving vehicle except to counter an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or another person and no other means are reasonably available at that time to avoid or eliminate the danger.”
- GPD is exploring enhanced access to counseling services for our officers. GPD wants ensure our officers have multiple outlets to process all they see and feel. The department will add policy requiring a psychological assessment every 5 years. Currently this is done when an officer is hired and after being involved in a critical incident.
When sworn in as Chief of the Greensboro Police Department, Chief James modified the Mission Statement of the Greensboro Police Department to “Partnering to make Greensboro safe for all people.” Each employee of the department remains committed to this statement. Our officers strive every day to live up to this mission. When receiving community concerns, GPD is always willing to review its policies to analyze whether changes are in order. Those changes are in order here, and the department is proud to say they were made.