MUNCIE– The city of Muncie is another department taking additional steps when it comes to their use of force policy.
Muncie Police say their last complete response to resistance update was in 2013. They started working earlier this year to update 14 of the most important policies. Those policies have been updated and are now in place.
“It takes quite a bit of time and man-hours in reviewing the policies which we are still in the middle of,” said Muncie Police Chief, Nathan Sloan.
Muncie PD has more than 80 policies total which is normal. But what’s not normal is a department going seven years without major updates.
“It is not normal. It should be done and we’re going to do it on a yearly basis from here on out,” said Sloan.
The department heads say they have been attending community forums working with the public to understand what they want.
“We did go through to make sure the wording was in there. For the duty to intervene we have that included. We addressed ban from shooting out of moving vehicles. We also addressed ban on chokeholds and strangleholds that would only be justified in a deadly force situation,” said Deputy Chief Melissa Pease.
They also added some elevated, more specific language on the topics of domestic misconduct, rules of conduct, and crashes involving officers.
“It’s important for us to get feedback from the community so we can understand their concerns and we can see it from their point of view, cause we’re looking at it from a police officer’s point of view,” said Pease.
This comes as two former officers and a sergeant face numerous federal charges of excessive force and an alleged attempt to cover it up. Their federal trial has since been pushed back to February.
Chief Sloan says that’s another reason why they working to rebuild their rapport with the public.
“Our accountability and our credibility is very important. And that’s why we’re reaching out to the public and trying to get some of their input and some of the things they want so we can model these policies after,” said Sloan.
The Muncie Police Merit Commission is working to create a police diversity task force to hire more applicants of all backgrounds. That means more women, African Americans, religious minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Muncie Police Merit Commission tells us the force will be made of representatives from local minority groups and someone from Muncie Community Schools. Officers hope it’ll give more people a chance to find if they’re interested in becoming an officer.
“We do want people in the community of all different backgrounds to apply for the department, see what it’s like. Ask for a ride along with a police officer, and see from our perspective too, kind of what goes on the streets, and how we operate,” said Muncie Police Merit Commission Secretary Michael Mueller.
The subcommittee will also look at who’s being promoted. They want to make sure all officers have a fair chance to gain rank.