Skip to comments.New police training puts fewer limits on use of force
Posted on 02/20/2014 10:43:49 AM PST by Altariel
As the New Mexico State Police and the Albuquerque Police Department have come under scrutiny in recent months for a rash of officer-involved shootings, the man who sets the tone for training police recruits in the state has instituted a curriculum that puts less restraint on officers in deciding when to use deadly force.
Evil has come to the state of New Mexico, evil has come to the Southwest, evil has come to the United States, said Jack Jones, director of the Law Enforcement Academy, when asked about the new approach.
The academy trains recruits for police departments across the state. Some agencies, such as the state police and the Albuquerque department, have their own training programs, but the basic training courses are established by Jones academy, according to the Department of Public Safetys deputy secretary, Patrick Mooney. In September, the states eight-member Law Enforcement Academy Board, which is appointed by the governor and chaired by the attorney general, voted unanimously to change the New Mexico Administrative Code to give complete control over the curriculum to Jones.
Greg Williams, an Albuquerque attorney and president-elect of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, said before the board voted on the change, it had a process that included public involvement.
What they did was to change the process so that the public could not be involved, he said.
But Jones, arguing for more control over academy training, said changing anything from fitness requirements to firearms training could take nine months.
If there is something happening that is new technology that bad guys are using, that evil is using, we need to be able to make that change and be able to make those changes in our academy, he told the board in June.
Since September, Jones has shortened the cadet training from 22 weeks to 16 weeks, instituted a physical-fitness entrance exam that is the same for men and women and applicants of all ages, and added more training exercises, including live-fire vehicle stops. These changes were necessary to prepare new police officers to work in a more dangerous world, he said.
The latest class got underway Jan. 20.
Some former police officials and criminologists question the wisdom of having one person in charge of the academys curriculum, as well as the soundness of some of the tactics Jones is teaching the cadets.
It would be out of the ordinary for one person to write [the curriculum] without other people having input, said Thomas J. Aveni, director of the Police Policy Studies Council, a New Hampshire-based group that studies use of force by law enforcement.
And Phillip Gallegos, a former academy instructor, called the rule change a dangerous precedent.
Now you have one person that is making the selection, and who is to say that person knows what a curriculum is supposed to be like, Gallegos said.
Gallegos said the academy fired him in July for insubordination after he refused to teach new cadets some of the firearms training Jones wanted to implement. The academy confirmed Gallegos was fired but declined to discuss the reasons.
According to Gallegos, The statement that he made to us [instructors] in a [January 2013] meeting was, No, I want you guys teaching these guys how to make a car stop with a bullet. Gallegos said, This is the thing why are you shooting at a car? You should be shooting at the individual that is shooting at you.
New Mexico made national headlines when a state police officer shot at a van full of children near Taos after the driver fled during a traffic stop in October. In November, a different state police officer shot and killed a Santa Fe woman after a high-speed chase, firing into her vehicle 16 times as she tried to flee. The second shooting was one of three fatal shootings involving state police in the course of a month. The Albuquerque Police Department, meanwhile, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice to determine if officers use unreasonable deadly force in encounters with suspects. Albuquerque officers fatally shot 22 people from 2010 through 2013, and wounded another 13.
Gallegos said more than 20 years ago, when he went through the academy, cadets were not taught to shoot at vehicles in order to stop them. Ballistics training was about the impact of using various firearms and ammunition.
Jones, a retired Army colonel, has more than 30 years of military experience and worked as a New Mexico State Police officer for 10 years. He joined the academy as deputy director in January 2013. Gallegos said he was told at that time that Jones would be in charge of training. The board promoted Jones to director in June.
Jones said he wouldnt comment on the allegations made by Gallegos. But he said the purpose of some of the shooting techniques taught at the academy is to help cadets learn what happens when an officer shoots at a vehicle not to stop cars.
We want them to see that if theres a threat thats inside a vehicle and they need to shoot at it, what happens to that round, he said. Theyre wearing a gun and a badge protecting you [the public] against the violence. Dont you think they should be prepared for the most violent encounter that they can come up against?
The New Mexican filed a request under the Inspection of Public Records Act for a copy the academys new curriculum, but Jones said he doesnt plan to release it because criminals could use the tactics taught to cadets against them.
Ill burn them before you get them, he told The New Mexican. Williams said because of the number of officer-involved shootings, the public has the right to know how police are being trained. To be lawfully withheld, the documents have to be related to an ongoing criminal investigation or meet some other exception.
Phil Sisneros, a spokesman for Attorney General Gary King, suggested filing an Inspection of Public Records Act complaint with his office to determine if the documents related to academy training must be released under the law.
The academy schedule includes 640 hours of training. Among them: 52 hours for basic firearms training, including training in live-fire vehicle stops; 12 hours in use-of-force techniques; and eight hours of courses on deadly-force decisions.
Jeff G. Vick, a former state police officer and trainer who retired from the force in 2005, said having more live-fire training could be a good thing, if its taught properly.
If theres a technique or a method that they should follow, then it sure wouldnt hurt to teach your guys that, Vick said. As long as you make sure that they understand when, and when not, to do it.
Jones said the shorter training period cuts redundancy. He also defended the new gender- and age-neutral fitness exam. He said it is fairer than the old exam, which set higher standards for younger males than for older females.
Aveni, a former police trainer, said he agreed with Jones physical fitness standards because real-life crime scenarios are not gender or age neutral.
Katherine Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which has a program to increase the number of women in law enforcement, argued, however, that academies with gender-neutral physical admission requirements are subtly excluding woman. Whenever youre focusing on upper-body strength, youre usually dealing with a test that has an adverse impact on women applicants, she said after reading over the new physical requirements to enter the academy in Santa Fe.
Among them, a candidate must be able to do 31 sit-ups and 29 push-ups in no more than a minute.
Spillar agreed that a good officer should be physically fit in order to do the job, but she said its also important to have good verbal communication skills in dealing with suspects. The guys who are into all this weightlifting all too often resort to physical interaction with a suspect before they have exhausted the verbal interaction, she said. Jones new curriculum teaches recruits they have more leeway to use force when pursuing a suspect than previous training under an older model.
Jones said he is now basing his training in use-of-force techniques on a 1985 U.S. Supreme Court case titled Tennessee v. Garner. The ruling says a police officer can use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect if the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect might do serious physical injury or kill an officer or another person. The model Jones is dumping, called the Reactive Control Model, has been used by police agencies around the country. But Jones said it is too restrictive. For example, he said, the model says if an unarmed suspect attempts to attack an officer, the officer can use a baton in self-defense.
When I went to high school, two people would have a fistfight, and it would be over, Jones said. Today in high school, two people have a fistfight and then somebody comes to the guys house the next day and shoots him. You have to be prepared for the violence.
Aveni said most law enforcement academies have dropped the Reactive Control Model, but he doesnt believe the case law is a sufficient base for an entire use-of-force curriculum.
The Law Enforcement Academy Board, however, is backing Jones. At a meeting Monday, board Vice Chairman Nate Korn lauded his expertise and what he has done to train officers.
We arguably have the best director in our academys history, Korn said.
Contact Uriel J. Garcia at 986-3062 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ujohnnyg.
I bet anal probes are in the use of force continuem now.
Did you sign up here just to demonize police?
Most dogs are not as evil as they can appear to interlopers.
“bet anal probes are in the use of force continuem now.”
There will be a lot of gays committing felonies then.
New police training puts fewer limits on use of force
Oh, goodie. More dogs and teenagers opening their doors with Wii controlllers to shoot at.
and Jack Jones is just one of its names.
Did you sign up here just to demonize police?
If he did, then he’s in the right place. This is a cop-hating website.
I made this point about a month ago in yet one of the many “cop shoots dog” threads.
I got some push-back from a few people. But most said; “Yeah? So?”
But we’ve been assured dogs have da ebils. ;-)
Haven’t you seen the threads about Freepers being attacked, left and right,?
Dog owners are all doomed, doomed.
Especially Doberman owners. :-)
Explain how this report or posting it demonizes the police?
McGruff is not to be trusted.
This will work out well.
“We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” - Barack Obama”
Do you trust every cop you see?
‘Theyre wearing a gun and a badge protecting you [the public] against the violence.’
BTW thats bald face lie. The police are there for the state not you. Then theres the question of who protects us against the police...
Notice how the compliant media whore edited out the "...so get over it!" part, which changes the entire meaning.
Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping!
To get onto The Nut-job Conspiracy Theory Ping List you must threaten to report me to the Mods if I don't add you to the list...
Aw shit, now they’ll be giving anal exams if you roll a stop sign....oh, wait.....
This IS New Mexico we are talking about...
"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell
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Yep, nit to mention:
The marketing team at Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. sends along this helpful explanation for the “No More Hesitation” series:
“The subjects in NMH targets were chosen in order to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training. I found while speaking with officers and trainers in the law enforcement community that there is a hesitation on the part of cops when deadly force is required on subjects with atypical age, frailty or condition (one officer explaining that he enlarged photos of his own kids to use as targets so that he would not be caught off guard with such a drastically new experience while on duty). This hesitation time may be only seconds but that is not acceptable when officers are losing their lives in these same situations. The goal of NMH is to break that stereotype on the range, regardless of how slim the chances are of encountering a real life scenario that involves a child, pregnant woman, etc. If that initial hesitation time can be cut down due to range experience, the officer and community are better served.”
“Do you trust every cop you see?”
The civilian police in this country are slowly morphing into the Gestapo.There’s no denying it.
[ Did you sign up here just to demonize police?
If he did, then hes in the right place. This is a cop-hating website.
I made this point about a month ago in yet one of the many cop shoots dog threads.
I got some push-back from a few people. But most said; Yeah? So? ]
From what I have seen on this site we are a “City Politically Appointed Cop” and “DHS and TSA groping constitutionally violating Cop” Hating group. However we have deep love and respect for the County Sheriffs and Rank and File Service members of the military.
County Sheriffs are usually NOT the problem, the problem is the low grade “Rent-A-Cop” Cops Local and Federal who abuse their power by shooting peoples dogs, shooting home owners during home invasions because they got the wrong address, anally probing multiple people with the same freeking glove, Stealing people’s cell phones and video cameras of people who dare film them doing their job, taking people’s firearms because a scared neighbor pissed their pants when they say them go hunting and loading a rifle in their truck, etc etc etc...
The Santa Fe New Mexican might as well be the San Francisco Chronicle.
The shootings in Albuquerque by APD have all been menaces any sane citizen wants stopped. Every single one. The DOJ who loves to take over local agencies will not find any of the shooting that were wrongful.
An attack on this guy at the State Police academy is actually an attack on Governor Susana Martinez. He is swimming upstream trying to bring some improvements to some democrat created law enforcement problems around the state.
With new/more evidence piling up daily, the bastards are doin' a dandy job of that all by themselves.
Police are doing the heavy lifting. Did you sign up to be a police apologist?
Too bad New Mexico doesn't have a referendum process that would allow the citizens to change this.
The problem is that politicians and police are now working hand in glove to reduce citizens to serfs.
You get the government you deserve.
WAKE UP, AMERICA!
” Jones, a retired Army colonel, has more
than 30 years of military experience”
He thinks he is in Iraq. This is a dangerous skill set for CIVILIAN law enforcement.
Well, since I’ve lived here they’ve popped a guy with a spatula, a aftershave bottle shaped like a train, and a brakepad.
What, specifically, is he talking about? Seems that should be a question the reporters should be asking.
The guy is a nut.
You do realize that image was taken in Rachel, NV, not that your reference to New Mexico isn’t valid...just sayin’....
I neither defend or deny that Free Republic is a cop hating website.
It is what it is. This is a place where “cops are scum” is a common refrain and no one takes issue with that.
OTOH, McGruff is apparently pro-cop, and he is getting called out on that.
The link the freeper posted I responded to was about the anal probe in NM...
“fewer limits”... oh just great, now they will be shooting cats
No matter. I was referring to the image.
“This is a cop-hating website.”
I guess the converse of that is you are a tyranny loving poster?
Memo to Self: When in New Mexico remember that the police are more dangerous than the criminals!
Reduced training reduces redundancy? Who is this idiot at the police academy? The only training new cops seem to be getting is “shoot first and say you were threatened later.”
See post 38.
And don’t try and make things personal against me or anyone else who is simply making an unbiased observation
This video was taken of a SWAT team in Tucson Arizona. Does it make you A) trust the police, or B) worried?
‘I neither defend or deny that Free Republic is a cop hating website.’
Now you’re lying.
OK, mind reader.
Do I believe Free Republic IS a cop hating website.
Do I believe Free Republic IS NOT a cop hating website.
“....one officer explaining that he enlarged photos of his own kids to use as targets so that he would not be caught off guard....”
There is something very demented about that.
There are good cops and there are bad cops. Not all are good and not all are bad. Always has been that way. On a side note, this site was dedicated to discussing politics not good cop bad cop.