Commend Police Department Reforms

Commend Changes in Use-of-Force Policy

Target: Jim Pugel, Acting Chief of Police, Seattle Police Department

Goal: Thank police department for adopting a policy to reduce the use of excessive force

Police brutality–the use of excess force by police officers against civilians–has haunted our country for a long time now. The problem arises because police are often overworked, very tense, and thrown into complicated, potentially dangerous situations, with little explicit training about what type of force is appropriate and in which circumstances force is allowed to be used.

But thanks to a federal judge, Seattle police have a new use-of-force policy, which will clear up a lot of the confusion. Not only does it give detailed instructions about the situations forced can be used in and the type of force that can be used, it also has instructions on how police need to report what occurs in the field.

The Seattle Police Department is not the only department in our country that has such serious issues with excessive force. Many police departments, especially in big cities, just do not have any clear guidelines about how they are expected to preform their jobs.

Thank the Seattle Police Department and the Department of Justice for working so hard to create a new policy that will protect both police doing their job and regular citizens. The policy is part of a larger five-year reform plan, at the end of which it is hoped the Seattle Police Department will be a model for police departments across the country who struggle with similar issues of police brutality and biased policing.


Dear Acting Chief of Police Jim Pugel,

In the heat of the moment, it can be hard for a police officer to always make the right judgment call. Part of the reason it is so hard is because the rules concerning what an officer is and is not allowed to do can be vague. Recently, however, a federal judge just accepted a new use-of-force policy written by the Seattle Police Department and the Department of Justice. The new policy outlines what situations it is okay to use force in, if necessary, what type of force may be used, and also gives instructions on the reporting procedures, to minimize incidences of biased policing.

This type of reform is long overdue for the Seattle Police Department, so thank you for adopting it so willingly. By being willing to change, the Seattle Police Department is a great role model for other police departments that are struggling with similar issues of reform among accusations of excessive force and biased policing.

The job of the police is to protect the public, but it is important that clear policies like this exist to protect both the public and the police officers who are only trying to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Thank you for your efforts.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: jseattle via Flickr

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