FERNDALE, Wash. — Ferndale Police Chief Kevin Turner made a presentation to the Ferndale City Council during their regular meeting on Monday, June 15th, that explained the department’s procedures and policies for hiring and training law enforcement officers. Then Turner provided 2019 statistics detailing the department’s reported use of force incidents and complaints filed against the department.
Turner explained how “use of force” is defined and how every reported use of force incident is reviewed at multiple levels in the department.
Reportable use of force incidents include: use of verbal commands, basic physical control tactics, use of additional physical force (such as a hard take-down or striking the subject) and pulling a Taser or firearm from its holster.
According to Turner, police contacted citizens on 12,963 occasions in 2019. Of those contacts, 35 involved use of force by officers.
Details on the use of force reports in 2019 are as follows (more than 1 may apply to an incident):
Incidents Description of force used 33 Verbal commands 25 Basic control tactics 1 Additional physical force 4 Taser drawn but not discharged 10 Firearm drawn but not discharged
Turner said there were no injuries reported by the subjects involved in the 2019 incidents.
Turner clarified that officers, as a matter of practice, will unholster their firearm while responding to a burglary or robbery in progress or when clearing a building after an alarm has been set off. These all get reported even when they are not being pointed at a subject.
In 2019, Turner also reported, there were a total of 9 complaints received by the department that resulted in internal investigations. The outcomes of complaints filed in 2019 are as follows (more than 1 outcome may apply to a complaint):
Complaints Outcome of investigation 2 Complaint sustained
1 was a parking complaint and the other regarding misuse of a city vehicle
4 Department/officer was exonerated 6 Determined to be unfounded