Use of Force
In 2021, the Urbana Police Department revised its Use of Force Policy to reflect the city’s commitment to the NAACP’s Ten Shared Principles of community policing. The policy prioritizes de-escalation during encounters with the public. It also reflects many comments and suggestions received through public engagement over a ten-month period and aligns with the Illinois General Assembly’s recently passed police reform legislation.
Urbana Police Chief Bryant Seraphin and Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin worked closely with leaders of the state and local branches of the NAACP and ACLU and other community organizations to revise the policy. A member of the public will be named to serve on the police department’s Internal Use of Force Review Committee.
Why is the Use of Force Policy important?
• It builds community trust and keeps civilians safe. Trust is an essential component of effective community policing. The community must know that they can trust police officers to protect them. Transparency about when and how officers are authorized to use force, and the types of situations that justify each level of force, can help build this trust.
• It keeps officers safe. A Use of Force Policy gives officers the techniques to diffuse a situation before it gets out of hand. Our officers put their lives on the line every day. Even seemingly commonplace situations can quickly intensify, putting officers in danger. Paired with appropriate training, the Use of Force Policy helps officers go home safe at the end of the day.
"The risks are high for both citizens and officers when uses of force occur, so it is vital for us to get community feedback on this topic. Trust is an essential component of community policing, and our transparency about how and when officers use force can help build this trust." ~ Chief Bryant Seraphin
The Urbana Police Department Use of Force Policy can be found here.