Long Beach City Champions New Police Reforms
In the past few months, community organizers and activists brought the topic of police brutality to the forefront of our national conversation. As such, large cities like Los Angeles have been forced to reconsider their approach to policing.
Notably, Los Angeles voted to cut $150 million from the LAPD budget, while introducing a new LAPD Community Safety Bureau to reduce both crime and police brutality.
In the same fashion, Long Beach City has also introduced several unprecedented reforms to the police department. As Chair of the City's Public Safety Committee, Councilwoman Suzie Price has introduced essential changes to various policing procedures.
Long Beach implements police reform - use of force, duty to intervene, and de-escalation
Accountability is at the center of Long Beach's new reforms. While the Council recognized the importance of public safety, they were also aware of instances of police brutality, racial bias, and use of excessive force.
As such, the Council passed reforms that would help reduce both crime and unlawful police behavior. They include:
- Use of force: The order states that officers must "only use a level of force that they reasonably believe is proportional to the seriousness of the suspected offense." In other words, police officers are refrained from using excessive force on small offenses. For example, a choke-hold would likely not be permitted against a suspect of a non-violent crime.
- Duty to intervene: To promote accountability, the City will now require and permit officers to prevent and stop the "unlawful behavior of another." As such, police officers will be forced to intervene and prevent instances of police brutality.
- De-escalation: Additionally, Long Beach will also require police officials to prioritize non-physical intervention. Officers must first exhaust "de-escalation techniques, crisis intervention tactics, and/or other alternatives" prior to using force.
BOMA/GLA is proud to have worked with Long Beach on both public safety and economic recovery. We are certainly excited about the new policy innovations that Long Beach will implement this next year.
You can find a full text of the new police reform order here.