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How For-Profit Lexipol Writes Policies That 'Protect' Police Departments

Police officers stand in formation during a standoff with demonstrators in front of the Public Safety Building on Sept. 07, 2020 in Rochester, New York (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Police officers stand in formation during a standoff with demonstrators in front of the Public Safety Building on Sept. 07, 2020 in Rochester, New York (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Private for-profit company Lexipol writes policies for thousands of agencies nationwide, including several in California, Oregon and New York.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Mother Jones reporter Madison Pauly about her piece, “ Meet the Company That Writes the Policies That Protect Cops,” in which she details Lexipol’s policies and guidelines for police departments.

Statement from Lexipol:

Lexipol focuses on helping law enforcement agencies mitigate risk while protecting the sanctity of life for all community members. We do this by providing constitutionally sound, comprehensive policies—backed by training and compliance tools—that help officers navigate high-stress situations and serve with professionalism. We recognize and respect that all legislation is subject to varying interpretations, but we remain confident that our policies are consistent with state and federal laws and national best practices.

Our policy positions on use of force are explained in detail on the website https://useofforce.lexipol.com. We invite all community members to visit this site for additional information, including a copy of our Use of Force Policy.

De-Escalation:

Lexipol's Use of Force Policy requires officers to consider and use de-escalation tactics when time and circumstances permit. These tactics include crisis intervention techniques, requesting appropriate backup, and verbal persuasion to reduce the intensity of the situation. De-escalation is also included in Lexipol policies addressing civil commitments, crisis intervention incidents, conducted energy device deployments (e.g., TASER®) and civil disputes.

Shooting at Moving Vehicles:

Lexipol's Use of Force Policy acknowledges the ineffectiveness and dangers of shooting at moving vehicles without prescribing a complete ban—in order to account for situations such as when vehicles are used as weapons in attacks on crowds. Our policy says, "An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others. Officers should not shoot at any part of a vehicle in an attempt to disable the vehicle."

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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