The City of Saginaw released the following on Monday, June 22, 2020:
SAGINAW, MI – The City of Saginaw has released the Saginaw Police Department’s updated use of force policy as nationwide calls for police reform continue following the death of George Floyd. The updates to the policy include clearer emphasis on when certain use of force tactics are or are not allowed, adding requirements regarding de-escalation of any police-citizen encounter, and highlighting the current requirements for officers’ duty to intervene in and report improper conduct.
“In Saginaw and across the country, George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked important conversations about race and the role of police in America,” said Tim Morales, City Manager. “In Saginaw, we have been working for years to build a police department that reflects the values of our community and embraces the forward-thinking policies and practices of 21st century policing. By updating and releasing the SPD’s use of force policy we take an immediate and meaningful additional step to improve our practices. I commend the men and women of the Saginaw Police Department for their professionalism and dedication to keeping Saginaw residents safe, and their commitment toward continual improvements in the department.”
The Saginaw Police Department maintains a use of force policy that is consistent with current national and legal standards. It is periodically reviewed by SPD command staff and the city attorney to ensure it remains in proper form. The policy takes into consideration a use of force continuum developed by the National Institute of Justice and contains guidelines as to how much force may be used against a resisting subject in a given situation. SPD Officers receive consistent training and understand that they are only allowed to use a level of force that is objectively reasonable to bring an incident under control. Actions such as those taken by the officers in Minneapolis are not contemplated by any policy of the Saginaw Police Department.
To view a copy of the Saginaw Police Department’s use of force policy, click here: https://www.saginaw-mi.com/pdfs/New-PP-01-Response-to-Resistance.pdf
“The focus of the Saginaw Police Department has been about building personal relationships, being proactive in addressing community concerns and working with partners to innovate new approaches to police work,” said Robert Ruth, Saginaw Police Chief. “The City of Saginaw remains committed to diligently addressing how we handle citizens and taking steps to improve community relations.”
In recent years, the City has made major investments in equipment and technology upgrades aimed at increasing police transparency and accountability, and improving safety for both residents and police officers. These include body-worn cameras for every patrol officer, and outfitting patrol cars with high definition in-car camera systems. The City continues to renovate the station headquarters located at 612 Federal Avenue with the latest technology to improve safety and transparency.
“Cities should not wait for tragedy to happen to make changes that improve transparency, safety, and accountability,” said Chief Ruth. “The Saginaw Police Department will maintain its ongoing commitment to reevaluate our policies and programs, and introduce new initiatives as needed.”