Seattle Chief Says Officers Can Do Less Paperwork On Minor Force Cases


Declaring new use-of-force polices are “not written in stone,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole told officers they can spend less time on paperwork when documenting minor applications of force, reports the Seattle Times. “We saw instances where we had overreporting,” O'Toole said yesterday, emphasizing her desire to reduce administrative burdens and keep officers on the street. “The police officers have been erring on the side of caution and writing reports even when not necessary,” she said.

O’Toole’s new directive says such reporting is “not intended to be comprehensive or burdensome,” and requires only the completion of a data-collection form and a “brief narrative entry describing what occurred.” Although the directive was not a formal response to a lawsuit brought by more than 100 officers seeking to block the new use-of-force policies adopted Jan. 1, it served notice that the Police Department and others involved in federally mandated reforms are willing to tweak them.

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