Paducah Police Chief Laird releases statement on policing

Paducah Police Chief Laird releases statement on policing

PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - The Police Chief of Paducah, Brian Laird released a statement on policing on June 17.

The statement touched on five different elements of policing including Use of Force, Body Cameras, Hiring Standards, Training and Community Policing.

The statement started with a personal statement from the police chief.

Laird stated that he has spent time seeking out member of the community to hear their questions and concerns.

He also stated that the Paducah Police are an accredited department, which is a voluntary test of their policies and procedures from an outside agency.

Laird stated that he wanted to share information about their policies with the community.

Use of Force

The Paducah Police’s Use of Force approach is covered in their “Response to Resistance” policy.

It requires officers to use the minimum amount of force necessary to gain control of a situation.

Officers that use more force than a normal handcuffing, or when an officer points a firearm at another person must submit a report.

These reports are reviewed by the Chief of Police.

The department releases an annual report on Use of Force every year.

In 2019, officers conducted 2,291 arrests, with only 49 “above normal handcuffing” incidents.

There were no serious injuries to any officers or citizens.

Chokeholds are not allowed unless the “officer has no other reasonable means available to control the individual.”

They consider chokeholds equal to use of deadly force, they are only permitted “when deadly force is justified.”

Body Cameras

Paducah Police Officers have had in-car cameras since 1993, they started using body cameras in 2015.

Starting last year, the department began upgrading the in-car cameras.

All patrol officers, detectives and supervisors wear body cameras. Only the Chief, and the two Assistant Chiefs do not wear them.

Body cameras are turned on during almost all circumstances, including traffic stops, searches and hostile situations.

Supervisors conduct yearly quality assurance reviews, checking six random videos per officer.

All incidents involving use of force or critical incidents are reviewed.

Hiring Standards

The department uses hiring standards set by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council.

These standards include a medical exam, drug screen, fingerprint check, in-depth background check, credit check, polygraph exam, and a psychological exam.

Each officer signs a code of ethics.

Training

Kentucky requires each officer to complete a 40 hour in-service training each year after the academy.

The department has a full time training officer.

Officers at the department train between 80 to 100 hours each year including verbal de-escalation and firearms.

Annually, officers complete a scenario-based training focused on de-escalation.

The department has completed Civil Rights Law training led by the FBI and a U.S. Attorney.

The Cultural Leadership Academy (CLA) is unique to the Paducah Police Department.

The CLA was created in partnership with Murray State to teach officers about different cultures.

Supervisors are required to have supervisory level training, and attend criminal justice development programs.

Leaders attend long term programs.

Community Policing

The Paducah Police Department had adopted the policy of community policing several years ago.

They have a full time Community Resource Officer to create community outreach programs.

Officers participate and “stand-in” dads at father/daughter dances, deliver food, attend birthday parties and give safety presentations.

The Teach DARE at the elementary schools.

They hold an annual Citizens Police Academy.

In 2019, officers initiated more than 6,300 community engagements.

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