Hawk Point, Mo. - The Hawk Point Board of Alderman discussed new police policies at their mandatory monthly meeting on May 8.
The new policies will require more training, but in the end, Hawk Point will be able to assist the town and other agencies more efficiently.
“We have been working on the police policy as you know,” said City Attorney Cindy Davenport. “When we started on it, it was such a big task. We decided we would start with the third chapter, which is the most likely thing that we would have problems with.”
This chapter covers use of force, handcuffing, control devices and techniques, tazers, officer involved shootings and deaths, firearms and they just finished up vehicle pursuits. Davenport handed out the tentative police reports in order for the board to look over the policies and then next month discuss and vote on them.
“I want to go ahead in next month’s meeting and put these policies in place, even though we don’t have the whole mammoth project done. And then we kind of prioritized what we are going to do next,” Davenport said.
Davenport stated the next sections that they plan to work on are fingerprint, custody and release, dash cams and body cams.
“We have our police department here under Missouri law now when they write certain tickets, the person has to be fingerprinted for the case to be submitted to me,” Davenport said.
Normally they have one person on duty and they can either drive them to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office or another option is bringing someone in to the police department.
“We are going to be making some requests of the board. We think we need some sort of camera system in the police department. That can automatically come on and record video and audio when they bring someone in,” said Davenport. “Same with dash cams and body cams.”
With these policies, Davenport said that they have to be specific on when these cameras get used and how long the footage is kept.
“I am going to ask you (the board) to trust myself and my legal expertise,” Davenport said.
She motioned to the police in the room and said, “(And trust) their years of experience and knowledge and training as far as what is actually put in those policies.”
Davenport said she would like the board to review everything and if there is any questions she is there to help. She also stated that they are approving the policies as they are being written.
“The thing I want (the board) to understand is that everyone of these policies has some requirement that we get something, train somebody which costs money, none of these are going to be free, unfortunately,” said Hawk Point Police Chief Bob Bone. “Like pursuit policies, we can’t have a pursuit policy if our officers are not trained on pursuits.”
Bone said the police department will try to do as much as possible to keep the training in-house, but there will be some required skills it will have to outsource in order to get training.
“Our use of force continuum, we will go down [budget spending] on that in our training, every different level has a requirement which requires the training,” Bone said. “If we don’t have training in it then we don’t feel comfortable in saying that this is in our policy.”
The Hawk Point officers did get this training in the academy but like everything, training evolves. The older police officers might not have the same training that a younger officer would get coming fresh out of the academy.
After the police officers get the required training, they then can help out other agencies on pursuits by using a tool called stop sticks. Stop sticks are a tire-deflation device for high speed pursuits.
“We will never deploy (the stop sticks) for us, but if we are going to expect somebody to help us, they are going to expect something from us. So stop sticks is a way for us to say ‘okay we will help out on your pursuit,’” Bone said.
IN OTHER BUSINESS:
• A roll off dumpster will be available on June 5 from 8 a.m. to noon at the City Hall for residents to dispose of large items.
• The discussion on remodeling City Hall was tabled again until the plot lines can be mapped out.