8CantWait Policies in Overland Park

The City of Overland Park has received many inquiries from the community about Police Department policies and its alignment with recommendations of police reform.

Overland Park Police Department’s policies generally align what is requested in the recommendations, with differences that promote public safety and support best practices in policing.

For example, this is how our policies compare to the Campaign Zero #8CantWait recommendations:

Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds

Overland Park Police Department Practice and Policy: Banned.

Overland Park policy prohibits the use of these maneuvers and techniques.

Require De-Escalation

Overland Park Police Department Practice and Policy: Required.

Our officers receive de-escalation training both at the academy level and periodically through annual training.

Require Warning Before Shooting

Overland Park Police Department Practice and Policy: Required.

Our response-to-resistance policy requires officers to give a warning prior to discharging their weapon if it is practicable.

What this means: For example, a recent officer-involved shooting involved an individual ambushing and shooting the officer first, leaving no time for such a warning.

Exhaust All Other Means Before Shooting

Overland Park Police Department Practice and Policy: Required.

Our policy requires officers to consider the following before using force:

  • Can the situation be defused and handled without force?
  • Will the use of force escalate violence or create unreasonable risk of injury to the officer or other persons?

Duty to Intervene

Overland Park Police Department Practice and Policy: Required.

Overland Park Police Department officers take an oath, which includes the following: “Have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions.” That is a portion of the oath our officers take seriously and with great pride.

Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles

Overland Park Police Department Practice and Policy: Restricted.

The City’s policy states officers will not discharge a firearm at or from a moving vehicle unless someone inside the vehicle is using threatening lethal force against an officer or another person by means other than the vehicle itself.

The only exception to this is in cases where a vehicle is being used as a weapon of mass destruction to deliberately attack a crowd of people, similar to situations that have occured in New York City and Nice, France.

Require Use of Force Continuum

Overland Park Police Department Practice and Policy: Required.

Our officers are trained under the Pressure Point Control Tactics Resistance and Control Continuum and required to act accordingly.

What this means: Our policy considers a continuum of need for the use of force. This allows officers to “enter” an interaction at any level that represents a reasonable response to a perceived threat. This continuum includes everything from simply the presence of an officer, use of verbal commands, pressure point control tactics, and more. Officers are trained based on this continuum.

Require Comprehensive Reporting

Overland Park Police Department Practice and Policy: Required.

Our officers are required to report all use of force.

Additional Efforts

For more information, please read the Police Department’s entire Response to Resistance policy.

In addition to the recommended protocols and policies, we’re proud to have implemented the following additional measures to promote transparency and accountability in our department and continued relationships with the community:

  • The Independent Citizen Advisory Board for Racial Profiling and Non-Biased Policing reviews all biased based policing complaints filed against Overland Park Police Department officers. The members of this board represent a cross section of the community as far as race, gender, nationality, and religion.
  • Uniformed officers wear body cameras while working traffic safety, emergency services, patrol, community policing, and while serving as school resource officers, to improve transparency and accountability for officers and the community.
  • Officer-involved shootings are investigated by the Johnson County Officer-Involved Shooting Team, an independent team made up of investigators from outside the Overland Park Police Department. Our officers serve on this team for incidents in other jurisdictions, but never our own.
    Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies certification, which recognizes the department’s professional excellence, and our commitment to continuous development and the professional delivery of public safety services.
  • The Mental Health Task Force is currently considering services and resources that can address mental health needs, paying careful attention to the particular experiences and needs of diverse groups within the population.

Questions?

Filing a Complaint

If you would like to file a complaint or a commendation about an Overland Park Police Officer, please contact an internal affairs detective at 913-327-6734 or by emailing pdprofessionalstandards@opkansas.org.

Questions

If you have questions regarding Overland Park Police Department’s policies, please reach out to Public Information Officer John Lacy at 913-895-6937 or by emailing john.lacy@opkansas.org.