Phoenix Police Department demonstrates new use-of-force tactics

Jun 12, 2020, 4:45 AM | Updated: 12:17 pm

PHOENIX — A new technique will now be the go-to response from Phoenix police officers while dealing with noncompliant individuals as they work to deescalate a situation.

The compassion restraint technique has replaced the carotid control technique, which the department announced on Tuesday would no longer be used by its officers.

The Phoenix Police Department said their goal was to strengthen community trust with the removal of a technique that had been used in Phoenix for the last two decades.

Officer Mike Malpass demonstrated one version of the policy change Wednesday morning at the Phoenix Police Regional Academy where he trains recruits on use-of-force and deescalation training.

The method is believed to be a safer option while taking someone into custody, especially if the person did not commit a crime, is a child or has behavioral health issues.

“The idea of compassionate restraint is we want the officers to be comfortable enough that when they are in these situations when they are dealing with people who have not committed crimes, we can think of other ways to think of safely bringing this person into custody, Malpass told KTAR News 923 FM.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, this new policy allows officers to restrain someone and bring them safely into custody without hurting them. However, depending on the situation officers can escalate the restraint if necessary.

Officer Malpass demonstrated another move known as the seatbelt harness.

“If I can control the trunk of the tree instead of trying to work with limbs, I have more of a chance of getting control,” Malpass said.

Changing a person’s structure is ultimately what it comes down to when restraining someone compassionately, according to Malpass.

The goal: to get a suspect in custody as quick as possible.

The department says it is important to deescalate situations quickly in order to maintain a safe environment, which is why the carotid control technique was often used for combative individuals.

Phoenix Police officers have nearly 900,000 annual interactions with the public. Since 2016, the carotid control Technique was used 46 times within the department.

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Phoenix Police Department demonstrates new use-of-force tactics