Eugene police reveal first steps toward reform

Here is how the department plans to change in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.

Posted: Jul 1, 2020 5:29 PM
Updated: Jul 1, 2020 6:53 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – The Eugene Police Department unveiled its first steps toward police reform in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and the protests that followed.

In a statement, the department said they are evaluating their policies, and these first steps will “build on our foundation of the past 15 years of systemic reform.”

In addition to adopting recent Oregon legislative changes, the department is also “taking initiative” on the following:

  • Chokeholds are no longer allowed and will no longer be included in training.
  • The Policy and Accreditation Office is identifying policies for the Police Commission to review, including:
    • Policy 808: Handcuffing, control holds and impact weapons
    • Policy 316: Public assemblies and demonstrations
    • Policy 317: Civil disturbance
    • Policy 318: Field force and policy
    • Policy 809: PepperBall projectiles.
  • Soon, pointing a firearm or Taser at a person with the intent of gaining compliance will be required to be reported and tracked as uses of force.
  • A planned Early Intervention System will work within the current complaint and use of force reporting system to help the department “intervene at the early stages of problematic behavior.”
  • The department will continue to review training and education as policies are updated and look for improvements by reviewing recent incident response and best practices.

“We will continue to look at what we need to do with the culture of the police department and how we can move down a path of listening to our community,” the department said in the statement.

Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner said these changes should be an indication to the community that the department is listening to their concerns.

"The community should take away that we are not going to drag our feet on being introspective and taking a look at things that we should be doing as we move down a path of reforming our police department," Skinner said. "That’s why we communicate these things to the public so that they know we’re not operating in a vacuum."

For information about past reforms the department has made, click here.

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