Mt Lebanon Community Oriented Policy (MLCOP)

Update June 15, 2007

Rob whitfield met with Chief Ogden, Steve Feller, Dale Colby and legal counsel for Mt Lebanon on May 25th, 2007. The Mt Lebanon Police Department has promised to make changes in the direction of more openness, including information regarding the use of force. Changes to the MLPD web site are expected to reflect this openness and should be completed early this summer.


As a result of a high-profile taser incident and the resulting fear and anger created in the community, mlcop.com was created. mlcop.com is an exercise in grassroots democracy. The goal is to effect specific changes in the policies and procedures employed by the Mt Lebanon Police Department so that citizens are better served. With this effort we believe that both citizens and police officers will be safer.

The function of this site is to educate and advocate. We will strive to maintain a cooperative posture with the municipality. However, when necessary we may take an adversarial stance. We will strive for an honest, open dialog with the management of the police department and with the commissioners.

Click here to see how you can help.

The primary areas of policy concern include:

  1. The use of tasers on children
  2. The use of tasers on senior citizens
  3. Reporting procedures to help prevent the abuse of tasers
  4. Public access to municipal policies, procedures and evidence that does not violate the privacy of citizens

Taser Policy Reform Recommendations

Mt Lebanon has so far insisted on keeping the taser policy secret. However, a few details about the policy have come to light through requests made using the PA Right-to-Know law. Based on information gleaned from these details, we have drafted a few recommendations to improve some obvious deficiencies. We trust that Mt Lebanon will see the wisdom in removing the secrecy around the taser policy so that citizens can be permitted to conduct a more robust review and possibly offer a more thorough set of recommendations.
  1. Taser Incident Log: Each taser activation will be recorded whether the activation incident was an actual deployment, show of force, or accidental deployment, training or maintenance. One line will be completed for each activation incident. For the purposes of this policy, several activations to control the same individual or animal will be entered on one line, with the number of activations and discharge duration noted in the appropriate columns.
  2. Quarterly reports shall be produced and delivered to the commissioners for all Taser weapon under the police department's control. The report shall include a summary of data downloaded from the Taser weapon's on board computerized memory via the USB data port. The summary shall be augmented to include all activations sorted in order of actual activation, show of force, accidental, training or maintenance. The deploying officer's name, date and time as well as duration of discharge shall be included for each activation. The report shall also contain a section summarizing actual activation sorted by the deploying officer's name.
  3. The Taser weapon shall not be used on a child, which by physical stature and size appears to be under the age of 14 unless there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer, civilians or suspect.
  4. The Taser weapon shall be turned off as soon as compliance is achieved.

Click here to see the questions asked and the answers provided under the PA Right-to-Know law.

Click here to help us end unnecessary secrecy in Mt Lebanon and all across Pennsylvania.

 

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