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Cape Coral Police Department

2011

Annual Internal Affairs Report


Contents Introduction....................................................................................................................................2 Inquiries .........................................................................................................................................3 External .........................................................................................................................................3 Formal Investigations ....................................................................................................................5 Use of Force ..................................................................................................................................6 Traffic Crash/Damage ...................................................................................................................9 Pursuits .........................................................................................................................................9 Conclusion...................................................................................................................................10 Inquiries ...................................................................................................................................10 Formal Investigations ..............................................................................................................10 Use of Force ............................................................................................................................10 Traffic Crash/Damage Incidents ..............................................................................................11 Pursuits ....................................................................................................................................11

2011 Internal Affairs Report

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Introduction The Internal Affairs Unit of the Professional Standards Bureau has a responsibility to protect the public and the Department against all turpitude which may be associated with the conduct of our members, to identify and remove all personnel who are unfit to serve in the law enforcement profession, and to identify and correct all procedural problems.

One of the ways the Cape Coral Police Department addresses concerns and allegations regarding inappropriate conduct is through data collection and analysis. By collecting information on the variables associated with police activities, we enhance our ability to assess the appropriate application of authority and broad discretion entrusted to members of the department.

Law enforcement effectiveness depends upon community respect and confidence in the police department. Conduct which detracts from this respect and confidence is detrimental to public interest and the City of Cape Coral. The policy of the Cape Coral Police Department is to investigate circumstances suggesting an officer has engaged in unbecoming conduct and impose disciplinary action when appropriate.

The 2011 Annual Report covers CALEA Chapter 52.1.5 (types of investigations by internal affairs), Chapter 1.3.13 (annual analysis of incidents of force), Chapter 41.2.2j (Annual review of vehicle pursuits), and Chapter 25.1.3 (Annual analysis of Grievances). The review is in accordance with department policy and CALEA standards.

A police officer’s ability to perform his or her duties is dependent upon the respect and confidence the citizens of Cape Coral have for the officer and the department. Police officers must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the integrity and trustworthiness expected of them by the public and that of the Code of Conduct. The Cape Coral Police Department explicitly prohibits any form of biased-based police action by any of its employees.

2011 Internal Affairs Report

Charts and Graphs are included to cover the chapters as mentioned above, followed by an analysis reviewing each section and a comparison with the past years.

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Inquiries Inquiries may be initiated from either an external source, such as a citizen, or internally from another department or city employee.

External In 2011 there were 56 inquiries and/or minor complaints from external sources. The following table shows a comparison, by month, to the previous two years.

In comparing 2011 to 2010, an increase of 9.80% in the total number of inquiries was realized. However, in 2010, 9.8% of the external complaints were sustained compared to 2011 in which only 3.57% of the external complaints were sustained.

2011 Internal Affairs Report

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The chart above shows the majority of the dispositions for formal and informal internal investigations resulted in a memo of counseling and written reprimands. There were five investigations that included remedial training as part of the disposition. One of the investigations resulted in the employee voluntarily separating from employment in lieu of termination.

2011 Internal Affairs Report

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Formal Investigations Formal complaints are investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau Internal Affairs Unit. Formal complaints consist of, but are not limited to, allegations of criminal/ gross misconduct, dereliction of duty, excessive force, civil rights violation, violation of state or federal law, and may contain more than one allegation.

department. Following a slight increase in formal investigations in 2010, the number of formal investigations returned to 2009 levels. No patterns of conduct and/or policy failures were noted during this review.

A complaint may be made by any individual either by telephone, in writing or in person. The complainant may choose to identify him/ herself or remain anonymous. The following represents the dispositions of the nine investigations in 2011 as compared to the two previous years. During the period January 1 to December 31, 2 0 11 , t h i s o f f i c e f i l e d n i n e f o r m a l investigations involving 14 members of the

2011 Internal Affairs Report

Nine officers compromised the majority of employees involved in formal investigations for the year 2011, with one sergeant and four civilians rounding out the pool. Comparing all three years, the majority of employees involved had five years of service or less.

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Use of Force In 2011, officers were required to use force 83 times in 76 reportable incidents. This is consistent with the agency’s average over a six-year period.

Injuries received by suspects during force incidents remained consistent with previous years. The highest percentage of injuries occurred as a result of a canine bite (100%), and the use of weaponless force, or “hands on” control (88%). Injuries during incidents involving the Taser were relatively low (22%), and there were no injuries associated with the use of OC spray. Injuries were primarily minor in nature and there were no significant medical issues, resulting from force used by officer.

The use of the Taser remains the most common type of force used (47%) followed by weaponless force or “hands on control” (33%), and OC Spray (9%). There were three officer-involved shootings during the year. The first incident involved an officer returning fire after being shot during a traffic stop. The second incident found the officer firing at an oncoming vehicle, The final incident occurred during an arrest situation. Of the three shootings, one was determined to be within policy, and two contained policy violations.

2011 Internal Affairs Report

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The analysis of force used by Cape Coral officers during the year showed no discernable trends or patterns, and there were no recommended changes to agency training, or equipment. The analysis did note a recommended action of a revision to the agency’s policy on shooting at moving vehicles as a result of one of the aforementioned officer-involved shootings. At the time of this report, the revision was under review.

2011 Internal Affairs Report

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Grievances There were two grievances filed in 2011. The first action was on January 4, 2011, filed by the Fraternal Order of Police Collective Bargaining Agreement for an unfair labor practice charge alleging that the City of Cape Coral violated Section 447.501(1)(a) and (c), Florida Statutes, by entering into illegal preemployment contracts, coercing its members to enforce the illegal contracts, and refusing to bargain in good faith regarding those contracts. On June 1, 2011, both parties went to arbitration. Accordingly, the assigned hearing officer’s recommendation was that the Fraternal Order of Police’s unfair labor practice charge be dismissed.

The second action was filed on October 28, 2011, by the Fraternal Order of Police Collective Bargaining Agreement for the grievant being improperly suspended for 12 hours without cause or merit, and without progressive discipline. On December 02, 2011, the City Manager supported the Chief’s decision for the 12-hour suspension. The grievance process is continued to Mediation set for February 2012. An analysis of this information compared to the previous year indicates the following: • The number of grievances increased from one to two. • The type of grievances did not indicate a “trend” or pattern. • The grievances did not warrant the review and/or change of policy.

2011 Internal Affairs Report

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Traffic Crash/Damage During the period of January 1 to December 31, 2011, this office completed 29 Florida Traffic Crash reports involving police department vehicles and 18 Vehicle Damage Reports, totaling 47 for the year. Vehicle Damage Reports are used in cases that do not meet the definition of a traffic crash as described in Florida State Statutes, for example crashes that occur on private property. Of the above 47 total incidents, 20 were found to be a violation of policy, which correlates to 42% of total traffic crashes for 2011. Comparing the total traffic crash/ damage incidents in 2011 to 2010, there was a decrease of 25% in 2011. Traffic Crash/Damage – Cape Coral Police Department (City Vehicles)

2011 Internal Affairs Report

Pursuits

One vehicle pursuit was filed with the Professional Standards Bureau in 2011as a result of an attempted bank robbery. The one pursuit in 2011 was justified in accordance with department policy and Florida State Statute 776.08, Forcible Felony, in being able to initiate a pursuit. However, there were two concerns identified in the pursuit; rate of speed by the officers in a residential neighborhood and one officer was found at fault for damaging his department vehicle by impacting into the suspect vehicle. Both concerns were addressed through training and discipline.

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Conclusion Inquiries Inquiries increased by 9.80% in 2011 as compared to 2010. The types of inquiries reviewed in 2011 are similar in content to the prior years noted in this report. Most of the inquiries are citizen complaints, such as alleged discourtesy, officer demeanor, unprofessionalism, and traffic-related offenses while responding to calls for service. During the 2011 period analyzed, there were no significant policy changes in the way inquiries are reported and/or documented that would have had an influence on the increase. As a result, there are no recommended changes to any department policies or procedures. Formal Investigations In 2011, the number of formal investigations decreased by 18% as compared to 2010. As previously noted in this report, some of the formal investigations may have involved more than one employee or more than one allegation. No patterns of conduct and/or policy failures were noted during this review. There are no recommendations as a result of this analysis.

Use of Force As previously noted in this report, officers used force 83 times in 76 reportable incidents. This is in line with the agency’s average over a six year period, with the exception of 2010, when an abnormally low amount of force was required by officers to control resisting suspects. Out of the 4,571 arrests in 2011, there were 76 reportable incidents where some type of physical force was necessary to affect the arrest. Since, in a number of cases, the arrestee does not voluntarily consent to be taken into custody, resistance is often encountered and some type of physical force may be necessary to affect the arrest and protect others. In at least 28 encounters, as previously noted where the officer applied “Hands/Fist/Feet/Takedown�, the arrestee did not voluntarily consent to be taken into custody. In these instances the officers would have been justified in escalating the degree of force to OC and/or the use of the Taser, but they opted not to. In the remainder of the force incidents, it is doubtful that a lesser degree of force would have been effective. The Cape Coral Police Department continues to provide training in Verbal Judo, SelfDefense Tactics, and Use of Force on an annual basis. Although there were no identifiable patterns and/or trends, the types of confrontations in 2011 compared to the previous years remained consistent. Nonetheless, these findings are certainly noteworthy and will be a focus of our attention in 2012 and incorporated into our training classes.

2011 Internal Affairs Report

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Traffic Crash/Damage Incidents

Pursuits

The number of employee traffic crash/ damage incidents continues to decline in 2011 as compared to the preceding years. The traffic crash/damage reports analyzed have remained relatively consistent with the preceding years; however, there has been a notable decrease in the number of preventable crashes in relation to minor incidents such as parking and low speed maneuvering in 2011 as compared to 2010. This can be contributed to the Training Unit changing the curriculum for Tactical Police Driving classes that was held in 2011. In 2010, there was an increase in minor accidents; this type of training was reevaluated to address identified causes of accidents by employees.

In 2011 there was one police pursuit as compared to 2010 and 2009, which had four pursuits each year. The current language in the policy, which was revised in June of 2008, only allows an officer to initiate a pursuit when he/she reasonably believes the fleeing suspect has committed a “forcible felony� as defined by Florida State Statute.

2011 Internal Affairs Report

In reviewing the one pursuit, it was within policy. The two significant issues identified, as previously noted in the report, were addressed through training as well as by the supervisors in roll-call.

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2011 CCPD Internal Affairs Report